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Police warn of online Canada Post scam, counterfeit money in Port Alberni

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Police say online delivery scams are making the rounds, with fraudsters pretending to be Canada Post, Amazon or another delivery company. TIMES COLONIST FILE PHOTO

Campbell River RCMP are warning of fraudsters pretending to be Canada Post in an email scam, while their Port Alberni counterparts say they have had several reports about counterfeit Canadian bills.

On Tuesday, a Quadra Island resident reported that they had received an email claiming to be from Canada Post, with authentic-looking logos, saying that they had a parcel in the individual’s name that required personal information to claim, along with payment of outstanding delivery fees because the label was damaged.

Victims of the scam could end up giving the fraudsters access to credit card details, said Campbell River RCMP Const. Maury Tyre.

“For the most part, these types of scams target those with the least amount of knowledge on Internet usage and email systems,” he said. “And sadly, that means that senior citizens can be extremely vulnerable to these kinds of scams.

“Unfortunately, so often if you have been defrauded online it’s done by people in countries where Canadian law enforcement agencies have no reach, which is why the focus is very much on education.”

Scammers also sometimes pretend to be companies such as Amazon, Apple, Netflix and financial institutions and tell victims that there is something wrong with their account or delivery, and ask for personal information and financial information to rectify the situation. Such emails should be deleted, police say.

Meanwhile, in Port Alberni, RCMP said businesses and the general public should be aware that four reports of bogus $100 bills and two of bogus $50 bills had been received as of Nov. 26. The serial number on the $100 bills to date is EJA8914981.

“There could be other editions in circulation and these bills could be removed from circulation as a result of media attention,” said Sgt. Peter Dionne.

He said that identifying those involved in passing counterfeit bills can be a challenge, although surveillance footage can help.

Those who think they might have been passed counterfeit money should take these steps:

• politely refuse and explain you think the money could be counterfeit

• ask for another bill and assess it

• advise the person with the money to check it with police

• let the police know there was a possible attempt to pass counterfeit money

• be courteous and remember that the person with the bill could be an innocent victim.

jbell@timescolonist.com