Local police are alerting the public about a developing scam involving an app and travel deals that has targeted Metro Vancouver residents.
Surrey RCMP stated in a news release today (January 8) that they received two separate reports from fraud victims about credit card data being stolen after they had provided private information on Whatsapp as they were booking low-cost or discounted airline tickets.
In both incidents, the victims had seen advertisements on Punjabi-language television and newspapers that offered cheap flights between Vancouver and India.
In order to make the flight bookings, they were instructed to provide personal and credit card details on Whatsapp.
Investigators are seeking to identify the individuals involved in this scam. Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to contact Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502, or Crime Stoppers, to remain anonymous, at 1-800-222-8477.
In the meantime, Surrey RCMP are warning citizens to take precautions to avoid becoming a victim by:
- never providing personal or credit card details via mobile applications to an unknown third party;
- always booking airline tickets through a secure booking website or a licensed travel agent;
- regularly checking credit card statements for potential fraudulent charges.
Anyone who thinks they or a family member may have been the victim of a similar fraud is recommended to make a report to police, to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, and to Equifax and Transunion to protect your credit score.