Monday, December 18, 2017

Wood Buffalo RCMP warn residents of computer virus cleaner scams

RCMP Alberta  - Wood Buffalo RCMP are advising residents of a computer virus cleaner phone scam that have come to their attention targeting local residents. RCMP advise no legitimate government agency or business will demand payment in gift cards, prepaid credit cards, or using high pressure tactics. These methods are used by the criminal element to hide their activities from police.

In the virus cleaner scam, suspects contact potential victims by phone to sell a computer virus cleaner program. The suspects use high pressure tactics and asks for personal information, including banking or credit card information. Pop up windows appear on their computer asking for information and money withdrawn for payment. After this virus cleaning program is installed, in some cases the victim is calling back, stating their computer is slower, and ask for a refund. The suspects advise they over refunded them. The victim doesn’t realize the suspects have transferred money from the victim’s credit card, to the victim’s bank account. The victim notices the money in their personal bank account, and doesn’t see the charge to their credit card. The suspects sometimes say they will lose their job if they don’t pay them back immediately, and may use other high pressure tactics. The victims transfer money to the suspect’s account number, or provides payment in gift cards, or prepaid credit cards.
Here are some tips to prevent being a victim of a fraudulent purchase:

· If you receive a phone call for a product, get as much information from them as possible and tell them you will call them back after you do further research.

· Find the government agencies’ phone number through a trusted source (phone book, or official website) and call the department back after doing some due diligence.

· Don’t trust the phone number or email until you have verified they are who they say they are.

· Do not share any personal information with the callers, such as confirming your legal name, date of birth, social insurance number, address, gift card numbers, prepaid credit card numbers, or personal banking numbers, etc.

· Be careful before you click on any links in any email you receive. Some criminals may be using a technique known as phishing to steal your personal information when you click on the link.

· The Better Business Bureau may also have information about the organization.

· Take your time to inquire about the product, and make an informed decision on the product.

· Shred unwanted documents, or store them in a locked and secure place.

For more information on scams contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online at or toll free at 1-888-495-8501. Or, please visit the RCMP website at If you believe you may be the victim of fraud or have given personal or financial information unwittingly, contact the Wood Buffalo RCMP at 780-788-4040 or call your local police.

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