POLICE BEAT: Online fraud, suspected arson keep police in Rossland busy over weekend
On Friday, October 7, 2022, at 5:20 p.m. a frontline Trail and Greater District RCMP officer received a report that an unknown suspect defrauded a Rossland woman of $300 after she fell victim to an online swindle in Rossland, according to RCMP Sgt. Mike Wicentowich.
“The woman attempted to purchase a used kayak through a popular website,” Wicentowich said. “She transferred $300 electronically to the seller after the seller informed the woman that the kayak would be delivered to her residence post-payment. The kayak never arrived and the woman realized that she was the victim of an online fraud.”
Trail RCMP recommended that the woman report the incident to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre as well as contacting the website.
Trail RCMP remind the public that recovering funds sent electronically is rare. Trail RCMP ask the public to verify as much information before deciding to make a purchase online. Fraudsters often have out-of-area phone numbers that do not match up with their place of residency,” Wicentowich added. “Fraudsters typically communicate only electronically through text and email. Meeting with the seller in a safe location and view the product that they are selling is often the best way to prevent being scammed. A buyer can use the front parking lot of the Trail Detachment as a safe meeting spot. This will likely eliminate most fraud, as fraudsters will likely not attend a physical meeting at a police station.
The following day, Saturday, Oct. 8, at 11:43 p.m., a frontline Trail and Greater District RCMP officer and Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue responded to a suspicious fire in a community shed at the Centennial Field in Rossland.
Wicentowich said the officer observed that flames, upon the arrival of first responders, had engulfed a community shed that housed soccer equipment. The cause of the fire is yet to be determined.
“Trail RCMP is asking for anyone with any information about how the fire started, or who is responsible, to contact the Trail Detachment at 250-364-2566 to speak to the investigator.”