Source: pixabay

Source: pixabay

Creston resident warning community of phone scammers after series of calls

Individuals posing as police officers targetted the woman, her mom and her grandma

A Creston resident is warning the community to stay vigilant after she, her mom and her grandma received phone calls this week from scammers posing as police officers.

The woman, who has asked to remain anonymous, said that the first call she received was on Oct. 21 from a Penticton phone number.

“I’m originally from Penticton, so I picked it up. It was a voice-automated man speaking and it said that they received my file regarding fraud with my social insurance number,” said the woman. “To speak to an officer regarding this matter, the voice said to press one.”

Upon dialling one, she said that the call was transferred to a man who said his name was officer Henry Wallace, who then asked that she write down his badge number to verify his authenticity, and to have it in case the call was dropped.

“He said that he’s an officer with Service BC, and there’s been several instances where there’s been scams and fraud with social insurance numbers,” she said. “He said that there seems to be some charges on my account and that I could go to court.”

Although she hasn’t lived in Penticton for quite some time now, she said that she originally believed that the call was genuine after the man confirmed her name and her former Penticton address.

“He was very calm on the phone. After that, he said that to move forward — for security purposes — he asked me to repeat the three last digits of my social insurance number. I immediately said no,” she said.

She then asked the man to repeat her social insurance number, since he claimed to have it in front of him.

“He didn’t want to do that, and he said that he’s suspending my social insurance number. I just hung up,” she said.

She then called the Penticton RCMP, who confirmed to her that the caller was indeed a scammer.

“The Penticton RCMP officer said people are doing all kinds of different scams. This is just one variation of it,” she said.

About half an hour later, she said that she received another call from a voice-automated machine that re-directed her to another individual posing as an officer. This time, the number originated from Ontario.

“Out of curiosity, I pushed one to speak to an officer, and he asked me to state my name. The first call had my name, and the second one needed my name,” she said. “I gave him a fake name and told him I live in Victoria. He said that I wasn’t giving him correct information, and he ended up hanging up on me.”

That same day, she said that both her mom and grandma received calls from the two phone numbers, but neither picked up after she advised them that they were scammers.

“If you’re being charged with anything, the policeman will show up your door and serve you papers. They’re not going to call,” she said.

She said that she wanted to spread the word to help prevent residents from falling victim to these same scammers.

“The first caller was very calm, but he started being firm when I didn’t give my social insurance number. If I didn’t know any better, he could’ve been quite scary,” she said. “Don’t ever give your social insurance number or any pertinent information over the phone.”

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A man wears a mask while walking down Canyon Street in Creston on Nov. 13. Photo: Aaron Hemens
Creston resident living with COVID-19 reflects on experience

Contracting and living with the virus, she said, has led to a “major reset” in her life

Creston Town Hall is located on 10 Avenue North. File photo
Council Column: November Update

“Collaboratively, our local governments and community partners are working together to create a strong foundation for economic development and recovery,” writes councillor Jen Comer

Tia Wayling is the recreation services coordinator with the Regional District of Central Kootenay. File photo
Rec Perspectives: Winter Pickleball…It’s a Thing!

“We are seeing pickleballers braving the cold on dry days as well. Some of the local pickleball enthusiasts have even created a Facebook group and use it to message each other to let everyone know who’s up for a round of games.”

With new Provincial Health Orders, area sports teams will suspend all travel including the Trail Smoke Eaters and Trail minor hockey rep teams and some house teams. Photo: Jim Bailey.
New COVID regs suspend junior and minor hockey rep play

All West Kootenay travelling hockey teams have been grounded until Dec. 7

Kyle Charles poses for a photo in Edmonton on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Marvel Entertainment, the biggest comic book publisher in the world, hired the 34-year-old First Nations illustrator as one of the artists involved in Marvel Voice: Indigenous Voices #1 in August. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
VIDEO: Indigenous illustrator of new Marvel comic hopes Aboriginal women feel inspired

Kyle Charles says Indigenous women around the world have reached out

B.C. Liberal MLA Shirley Bond questions NDP government ministers in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 19, 2020. (Hansard TV)
Cabinet veteran Shirley Bond chosen interim leader of B.C. Liberals

28-member opposition prepares for December legislature session

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, November 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-19: What do rising positivity rates mean for B.C.? It’s not entirely clear

Coronavirus cases are on the rise but the province has not unveiled clear thresholds for further measures

A rider carves a path on Yanks Peak Saturday, Nov. 21. Two men from Prince George went missing on the mountain the next day. One of them, Colin Jalbert, made it back after digging out his sled from four feet under the snow. The other, Mike Harbak, is still missing. Local search and rescue teams went out looking Monday, Nov. 23. (Sam Fait Photo)
‘I could still be the one out there’: Snowmobiler rescued, 1 missing on northern B.C. mountain

As Quesnel search and rescue teams search for the remaining rider, Colin Jalbert is resting at home

More than 70 anglers participated in the bar-fishing demonstration fishery on Sept. 9, 2020 on the Fraser River near Chilliwack. DFO officers ticketed six people and seized four rods. A court date is set for Dec. 1, 2020. (Jennifer Feinberg/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Anglers ticketed in Fraser River demonstration fishery heading to court

Sportfishing groups started a GoFundMe with almost $20K so far for legal defence of six anglers

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Pictured is the Cranbrook gravel pit, located between two graveyards near the public works yard. This is where two lost kids were located by a Salvador Ready Mix driver on Thursday, November 19, 2020. (Corey Bullock/Cranbrook Townsman file)
Two lost Cranbrook kids find their way home thanks to Salvador Ready Mix driver

The driver found the children wandering near the gravel pits in Cranbrook

Care home staff are diligent about wearing personal protective equipment when they are in contact with residents, but less so when they interact with other staff members, B.C. Seniors Advocate says. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
More COVID-19 testing needed for senior home staff, B.C.’s advocate says

Employees mingling spotted as virus conductor in many workplaces

Most Read