UPDATED: Taghum woman scammed of $78,000

An elderly Taghum woman who fell prey to a Jamaican lottery scam is out over $78,000.

A Taghum woman who fell prey to a Jamaican lottery scam is out over $78,000 in a case RCMP got wind of when the fraudster asked them to look in on the victim.

Police say the woman received a phone call in late August telling her she had won $5.5 million in something called the Winners Circle International. She remembered entering a contest through a magazine subscription and thought that must have been it.

The caller told her she needed to submit $25,000 to obtain a “tax exemption” to process the winnings and deliver them to Canada.

Police say the caller was persistent and asked her to send money through various means, including Western Union, bank-to-bank transfers and mailing cash to individuals and banks in Jamaica.

The woman was told not to discuss her winnings or the tax exemption with anyone. After receiving the $25,000, the scam artist called back several times over the following months and convinced the woman to send more money.

The victim finally realized what was going on and cut off her dealings with them.

But they didn’t give up so easily: Staff Sgt. Dan Seibel says the crook had the chutzpah to phone local RCMP and say he was concerned about the woman’s well-being. When they went to check on her, she explained the caller was part of the phony lottery.

“That’s how desperate and bold they are to get money,” Seibel says. “We followed up with this individual and received no co-operation.”

Scam artists based in other countries make police investigations and prosecutions challenging, he adds. Although there is only a “slim” chance of charges being laid, police will follow it up as far as they can.

“I’d love to see an arrest made, but because we’re not sure who we’re dealing with, and there’s so much deceit and a whole fraudulent process, it’s going to be challenging,” Seibel says.

He’s not sure how the scam artists got the woman’s contact information, but imagines they call hundreds of people hoping to get lucky with a few. Seibel isn’t aware of any other local victims of this particular scam, but would like to hear from anyone else who has been approached.

He also urges people not to send money to secure supposed lottery winnings.

“Any phone solicitation of this nature where a lottery win is required to provide funding to obtain their winnings is a scam,” he says. “If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is a fraud.

“These criminals are very convincing and are willing to go as far as setting up fake web sites and providing victims with pass codes in an effort to convince or affirm that they are legitimate.”

However, he says you should never give out personal or banking information over the phone or computer.

Victims tend to be retired, elderly, or alone, and scam artists often appeal to their emotions and religious beliefs. Police encourage you to warn elderly family and friends to prevent them from being victimized.

The victim in this case didn’t want to be identified.

Just Posted

Kaslo bus fueled by vegetable oil to begin service next month

Mountain Man Mike’s will run routes to Vancouver and eventually Edmonton

Nelson to send two musicians to provincial Festival of The Arts

Lucas Alexander and Nico Bucher will compete in Chilliwack later this month

Police investigating felling of old cedars at Cottonwood Lake

One of the cedars was 300 to 450 years old

Safe boating event planned in Nelson on May 25

The event coincides with the National Safe Boating Awareness week

Help make Nelson the most active community in Canada

The Better Community Challenge launches May 31

Kelowna RCMP interrogation video brings home reality in ‘visceral way’: former TRC chairman

Video of Mountie interrogating young Indigenous woman disclosing sexual abuse under fire

Update: Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Full-scale search underway for missing kayaker on Okanagan Lake

Kelowna Paddle Centre member Zygmunt Janiewicz, 71, failed to return from his ‘daily kayak’ on the lake

ICBC urging drivers to slow down this May long weekend

Speed is number one cause of car crash fatalities: ICBC

Bucks hammer Raptors 125-103 to take 2-0 playoff series lead

Toronto heads home in a hole after second loss to Milwaukee

Most Read