A Prince Rupert resident is urging online shoppers to thoroughly investigate any websites they plan to send money through after falling victim to an online scam that cheated him out of $10,000.
The Rupertite, who asked his name not be used, said the scam began on a Vancouver-based buy and sell website where he saw a mini-excavator for sale for $10,000. The victim communicated with the scammer by email, and was told to send the money through a website that misrepresented both PayPal and Amazon.ca.
The victim said he was in contact with the fake seller through email, with communication being friendly. He then sent the money to a fax number from the U.S., with communication ending after the payment was made.
Const. Matt Ericson, spokesperson for the Prince Rupert RCMP, confirmed the detachment received a complaint regarding the incident and said it is currently being investigated by Prince Rupert RCMP.
This incident is the 12th fraud case that Prince Rupert RCMP have dealt with this year, and the fourth to occur online. Ericson said people of all ages have been victims of scams this year, with no particular age bracket being more at-risk than others.
When contacted by the Northern View, a representative from Amazon.ca pointed to the “help” section of the Amazon Payments website for tips on how shoppers can protect themselves from fraud on the Internet. One of the tips is to never make a payment to someone whose identity cannot be verified, and to check the website address, as genuine Amazon Payment websites are always hosted on one of three web domains: https://payments.amazon.com/, https://resolutioncenter.payments.amazon.com/ or https://authorize.payments.amazon.com.