One man has been arrested after two robberies at businesses in Duncan. (Patrick Davies/100 Mile Free Press)

One man has been arrested after two robberies at businesses in Duncan. (Patrick Davies/100 Mile Free Press)

Red Deer RCMP warn public of online gift card scam

Red Deer RCMP is warning the public about an online scam involving hiring people to purchase gift cards.

Red Deer RCMP recently investigated an incident where a person was offered an online job which required them to purchase gift cards in exchange for payment. The person was told to purchase gift cards for clients, which would then be reimbursed via cheque. However, when the individual deposited the cheques, the bank determined them to be fraudulent. To avoid detection, the scammers used real business information from a business in B.C., including a logo from their website.

RCMP are offering the following tips to assist identifying fraudulent online job opportunities:

First and foremost, if it sounds too good to be true, it typically is.

Try to confirm that the job truly exists from a real company. Search for the company’s website and find the job posting. Call the company directly to confirm the job opportunity.

Be wary of jobs in which you are asked to transfer money to a “client” through Bitcoin or another crypto currency, gift card, e-transfer or direct deposit into a third party bank account provided to you.

Other red flags for fraudulent jobs include: emails are sent from free, insecure accounts such as Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail; you are required to supply credit card or bank information; or you are required to pay money to get the job.

The best protection from scammers is to learn how to resist being pushed into a decision regardless of how persuasive or aggressive the scammer may be. Arm yourself and the vulnerable people in your life by learning how to recognize and protect yourself from fraud. Visit Canada’s Anti-Fraud Centre at www.antifraudcentre.ca for more tips.

If you have any information about these types of fraudulent activities please contact Red Deer RCMP at 403-343-5575 or your local police. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at www.P3Tips.com.