It could happen to anyone.
After three months of conversing with someone through Facebook, a North Okanagan woman, whose name is being withheld for privacy and security reasons, fell victim to a scam.
“Somebody on Facebook contacted me and we started to correspond,” the woman said. “I was always suspicious. It wasn’t just overnight. They really know how to groom you.”
The person earned the woman’s trust through these discussions, and despite her resistance, the person convinced her to send money.
“It’s not so much about the money I lost, but it happens a lot. I was shocked. It almost destroyed me,” she said.
“I thought I was a very cautious person, but there are some people who really know how to lie and people will believe them. They are masters about scamming and lying. They just don’t have a conscience, absolutely no conscience.”
What makes the matter more difficult, the woman said, is it’s a difficult one to share due to shame.
According to the RCMP, millions of dollars are lost every year to scams in Canada. The RCMP operates the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC), who suggest that victims of scams gather all information about the fraud, including documents, receipts, copies of emails and or text messages.
Victims should then report their findings to the local police and contact the CAFC before reporting the scam to the financial institution where the money was sent.
Should the incident have occurred through social media, CAFC recommends reporting the fraudulent activity to the company.
Finally, victims should place flags on their accounts and report to both credit bureaus.
For more information on what to do in the event of a scam, visit www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca.
“It can happen,” the woman said. “I want people to wake up and say, this is for real. This does happen.”