RCMP in Yarmouth say the nearly $10,000 a woman lost to fraudsters isn't recoverable.
Mounties say the woman was told she had won a big cash prize, and in order to claim the money, she had to pay the fees and taxes.
Scammers asked her to withdraw money and send it via wire transfer to various bank accounts across North America. They also asked her to give them her bank account number so they could deposit the winnings.
The woman contacted police after bank staff flagged the transactions.
Police say this "prize scam" is similar to many schemes they run across.
They say these include cases where a fraudster:
- Offers to take over your computer under the pretext that it requires repair
- Tell you that you've won money when you haven't entered a contest
- Tell you a relative has been injured and needs your financial assistance
- Tell you your accounts have been hacked and your local bank is part of the problem
RCMP say many fraud scams have similar characteristics:
- Caller is often very impatient for you to comply
- Some sense of urgency
- Callers try to keep you on the phone
- You may be threatened if you don't comply
- Caller doesn't want you to check with anyone before you comply with their request
- Caller tells you not to tell anyone
- You are asked to send money via wire transfer or purchase gift cards and provide them to the caller
RCMP say if you're contacted by an unknown source and you think it could be a fraudster, ask them for a call-back number and check with your local police or financial institution before providing any financial information or sending any money.
More tools and resources can be found on the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website.