Photo: Pexels

Kelowna videographer has brush with online cheque scam

Fairstone Film’s Conar Fair caught the red flags early

A Kelowna videographer who was nearly snared in an internet cheque scam that took aim at his career wants to warn others of red flags they should take heed of.

“They wanted a quote for an (80th) birthday party, and wanted to send the full amount right way, which I thought was a little weird,” said Conar Fair, of Fairstone Film. He explained it’s not uncommon to get requests from email and set up through online conversations.

Normally, Fair asks for just a deposit for Fairstone Films, but the scam-artist contacting him claimed to be organizing her own 80th birthday party, and wasn’t exactly internet savvy.

“Maybe she’s just old, I’ll roll with it,” Fair said he initially thought, but soon after more odd requests set off Fair’s suspicion.

READ MORE: Peachland ice rink going as long as possible

Along with sending the full payment, the supposed client said they were running low on paper cheques, and needed to send the payment for the party’s caterers included with Fair’s fee.

They asked if, once Conar received the money, he could transfer the caterer’s fee to their “son-in-law.” Then the so called son-in-law could make the payment to the caterers.

“It was getting weird at that point. They said that they were in the hospital, and when I asked for the son-in-law’s contact information, they (avoided) the question. So, I didn’t think the money was even going to come,” said Fair.

Sure enough, a few days later, Fair received the cheque which included his fee, and the amount that was meant-to-be transferred the “son-in-law.”

“It was just odd, and suspicious, so I took the cheque to a bank teller,” said Fair.

His suspicions had been correct, the bank noticed that the received cheque was falsified, and said that they get cheques of that kind two or three times a day.

The scam-artist’s foiled plot was to have Fair deposit the cheque into his account, transfer the rest to the “son-in-law,” and by the time the bank had noticed the scam, the money would have been taken from Fair’s account without any coverage from the bank.

“If you do it, the bank does not cover you,” said Fair. “The bank said it was smart to report (my suspicions).”

READ MORE: Kelowna Mounties looking for a meter beater

This type of scam is a variation of an advance fee scheme, which the RCMP details on their website.

Coincidentally, March is Fraud Prevention Month in Canada, and the RCMP has tips for catching would-be scammers including never accepting payment for a higher price than asked for, return the cheque to the buyer and ask for a new one if suspicious, and to be vigilant with any and all concerns.

“In the original email, there were several other vendors attached, so I ended up calling a few to warn them. Turns out I was the only one chosen,” Fair said with a laugh.

Fair, a small business owner, would almost never say no to a potential client and gave the benefit of the doubt initially, but followed his gut when the oddities became too recurrent.

A close call this time, but just because there as no harm, doesn’t mean there was no foul. Fair said he urges others to simply double check at the bank if there are any doubts.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Give a hoot and don’t touch baby birds

SORCO raptor rehab reminds residents to stop before they touch baby bird

Video: South Okanagan’s ‘Pretty Boy’ Hall ends amateur MMA career a champion

Oliver-based mixed-martial arts fighter plans to go pro following his record-setting win on March 17

Four Penticton residents arrested for violent attack on homeless

Four individuals have been arrested for a attack and robbery on two homeless men

Beloved Okanagan-Skaha school district champion dies

Bruce Johnson was a teacher, principal and long-serving school trustee in Penticton

VIDEO: Sunny skies in the forecast makes for a great start to spring

Mostly sunny skies with a chance of rain by Friday evening in the Okanagan Valley

Small landslide closes Vernon road

City crews estimate Okanagan Bench Row Road will reopen at about 2:30 a.m.

Canucks hang on for 7-4 win over Senators

Horvat nets 2 for Vancouver

Kelowna RCMP tackle man in Glenmore area

A witness saw RCMP make an arrest on Valley Road just after 6 p.m.

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Prime minister defends Liberal budget measures as sales effort gets underway

Conservatives under Andrew Scheer say it’s a spree funded by borrowing against the future

Father, former child soldier, seeks better life for family in Shuswap

Salmon Arm volunteers begin fundraising effort to help family resettle in Canada

Mayor meets with B.C. health minister on homeless taxi transfers

Two homeless people were discharged from Surrey Memorial and sent to a Chilliwack shelter

B.C. lottery winner being sued by co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Most Read