West Vancouver police say they’ve seen a swath of reports of a new type of scam that targets people who take prescription medicine.
The fraud involves someone cold-calling West Vancouver residents, purporting to be from a local pharmacy and claiming their script has been filled. They just need a credit card number to process it, the grift goes.
“We had, over the course of last week, about 30 calls about the exact same scam. That's only those that have chosen to call police about it. There's likely way more,” said Const. Kevin Goodmurphy, West Vancouver police spokesman. “They’re guessing. They’re hoping that someone has a standing order with a local pharmacy. Enough people do that, that it wouldn’t be strange for many people to get that call.”
Taking the scam a step further, the caller would sometimes offer home delivery of the drugs, which requires the victim to hand over their home address, another piece of personal info that can be used in identity theft.
Goodmurphy said he was proud of the people who smelled trouble and alerted West Vancouver police, although, he added he’s aware of at least two cases of the scammers making illegal purchases with the stolen credit card info. Thankfully, they have been relatively small amounts.
These days, Goodmurphy said, it’s good to be guarded about releasing any personal information over the phone. If there is any doubt, hang up and double check the number so you can call back yourself or venture there in person, he said.
“It's pretty reasonable to think your pharmacy wouldn't necessarily be phoning and looking for credit card information,” he said.