The Victoria Police Department is warning the public to watch for scams after an 83-year-old woman was tricked out of $3,000 through a phone call she thought came from Visa.
When the Victoria woman answered her phone last week, the caller claimed to be a Visa representative and told the woman her Visa account had been hacked. The caller told the woman that the hackers had racked up $2,600 in eBay charges on her card, according to a VicPD news release.
The “Visa representative” said the only solution was for her to purchase $5,000 in Google Play gift cards and provide the card information to the caller. The woman followed instructions and purchased three $1,000 gift cards — each from a different convenience store — before an employee at the fourth store informed the woman that she was being scammed.
VicPD is reminding people that a financial institution will never ask clients to purchase gift cards to fix banking issues. Any phone call of this nature should be treated as a scam — hang up immediately and report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
If a person provides any financial or personal information before realizing it is a scam, VicPD recommends they contact their financial institution and call the police department’s non-emergency number as soon as possible.
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