PEI

Canadian Cash Awards scam offers senior $3.5M

A retired RCMP officer is warning Prince Edward Islanders to beware of a phone scam after he received a call at his home in Charlottetown this past week.

Complaints about Canadian Cash Awards date back to 2014

Retired RCMP officer Robert Campbell recommends people just hang up on scammers. (CBC)

A retired RCMP officer is warning Prince Edward Islanders to beware of a phone scam after he received a call at his home in Charlottetown this past week.

Robert Campbell said he was told by the caller that he'd won $3.5 million through the Canadian Cash Awards, after his name was selected from a pool of 500,000 seniors.

Campbell said it was clear to him it was a scam as he'd never entered his name in such a draw, but he's worried some others may fall for it, and turn over their credit card or financial information to claim their prize.

"I would say somebody who's unaware and doesn't have an advocate for them would say 'Wow, this is great.' And go hook, line, and sinker," said Campbell.

Advance payment scams an ongoing problem

Complaints on the internet regarding Canadian Cash Award date back to 2014.

Campbell told CBC News he strung the scammer along, ultimately getting a phone number from him that he reported to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

His advice to others is to simply hang up. If seems too good to be true, he said, it is.

P.E.I. RCMP say phone scams similar to this, known as advance payment scams, are an ongoing problem.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre has put together a tool kit for recognizing advance payment scams.

With files from Kerry Campbell

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