A new way to cheat seniors has been uncovered in the Haut-Saint-Laurent region. Seniors receive a call from an alleged government agent who informs them that they must pay a debt by purchasing iTunes cards.
The world of fraud targeting seniors took a new turn this week in the Haut-Saint-Laurent region when a 70 year old woman was forced to buy iTunes cards to pay for a non-existent debt.
The Hinchinbrooke resident answered a telephone call from an alleged agent of the Department of Revenue who claimed that she owed the government $2500. The scammer demanded that the seventy year old pay the bill by purchasing "iTunes" cards. The suspect intended to pick up the cards at her home later and then sell them on the black market.
Not realizing that this was a fraud scheme, the women first went to a Huntingdon business where she purchased $2300 worth of iTunes cards. She continued shopping in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield at the Métro Plus store on chemin Larocque with the intention of purchasing more iTunes cards.
A vigilant cashier was suspicious of the woman’s request and thwarted the scammer’s plan by calling the police who informed the victim that it was a case of fraud.
According to the Sûreté du Québec, this kind of threat directed at seniors has increased in recent months. The scammers have found a way of usurping the telephone number at the police station – in this case 450 829-2887 for the Haut-Saint-Laurent MRC SQ – so that it appears on the call display of the person receiving their call.
Caution is recommended for anyone encountering this kind of thief.
Translated by Cathleen Johnston