Date:   Dec 18, 2014

Victoria BC – The holiday season often brings out the best in people, and here at VicPD we’ve seen that in spades. This was no more evident than seeing a fantastic 10-year-old dropping off gifts for the needy and our own officers and professional support staff fundraising for Santa’s Anonymous and the Burnside Gorge Community Centre. Unfortunately, the season of giving is often the season of taking for those that would prey on goodwill.

We’ve been made aware of a number of scams lately including aggressive monks and overbearing prize-awarding agencies.

Officers have now responded to at least two incidents downtown of individuals dressed as Buddhist monks who are passing cards in exchange for cash. Notably absent from these imposter monks is the sense of peace and calm usually associated with Buddhism. If cash is denied to these imposters, they become angry and often scold or curse at those who they are trying to scam.  This scam is not new and has been reported on previously.  Aggressive panhandling is against the law in Victoria and officers are hoping you’ll be aware and call if you encounter these men.

Another scam that has come to our attention is someone posing as a member of Publishers Clearing House stating that a large truck with your prize is on its way to your house. The scammer then tries to get the ‘tax’ back on the prize in the form of a credit card number.

Remember, a true prize does not require you to pay money to get something.

Officers are hoping you’ll keep your eyes and ears open this holiday season, report any suspicious activities, and help prevent frauds and scams to you and your family. If you encounter a scam and have not been a victim, you can report that to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. If you are a victim of a fraud or a scam, call VicPD at 250-995-7654 and report it.