Combatting frauds by educating businesses and their employees


2020-07-29 11:07 PDT

Richmond RCMP have launched two new initiatives in the hopes of further combatting the constant wave of telephone scams.

The first initiative involves reaching out to local businesses to educate owners and their employees about the signs to watch for and some key questions to ask if someone comes in to purchase a large sum of gift cards, particularly Google Play or iTunes cards.

This information has already been sent out to everyone registered on Richmond RCMP Business Link. Business Link is designed to enhance communication between the Police and the business community. It focuses on educating businesses in crime prevention strategies in order to help reduce crime. Anyone interested in joining Business Link can either email or call 604-207-4829. To find out more about the services offered click here.

Richmond RCMP officers from the Community Policing Unit will also be going door to door to various local businesses to provide this information to those not currently registered with RCMP Business Link. This form of outreach is aimed at engaging and educating as much of the business community as possible.

The second initiative involved designing a poster or sticker that businesses can put up near bitcoin machines, gift card carrousels or tills. This initiative was spear headed by the Richmond RCMP Economic Crime Unit. The posters are aimed at catching the attention of potential victims. The posters and stickers will also be distributed to businesses through the Business Link outreach program.

View PDF of Poster 

Participation in these initiatives is voluntary but the businesses Richmond RCMP have already reached out to have been very receptive to it.

The idea for these two initiatives came about after a quick thinking store employee prevented one of our officer’s parents from being defrauded, says Corporal Adriana Peralta, From that we decided to start an education initiative that focuses on training employees and store owners to help them recognize and assist in preventing people from being scammed.

These fraudsters can be very convincing and use a multitude of tactics to trick people. Whether through charm or threats, these fraudsters are highly focused on achieving their end goal; getting people’s money. In some cases the fraudsters have gone as far as spoofing a phone number belonging to a legitimate business or government agency.

Richmond RCMP want to remind the public that if someone claiming to be from a government agency asks for bitcoin, google play or itune gift cards as a method of payment hang up immediately. No government agency would accept these methods as payment.

Richmond RCMP also cautions the public about businesses requesting any of these forms of payment. While some legitimate businesses may accept bitcoin none accept Google Pay or iTunes gift cards. Prior to sending any form of payment, Richmond RCMP recommend you do your due diligence, research the company to confirm its legitimate or visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online for more information on tips and ways to protect yourself from being scammed.

If you have been a victim of these frauds or suspect someone may be trying to scam you contact your local police.

Released by

Cpl. Adriana Peralta

Media Relations
Richmond RCMP
11411 No 5 Road, Richmond, BC, V7A 4E8
Office: 604-207-5189
Fax: 604-207-4716


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