Concerned citizen warns of ‘Reader’s Digest contest’ phone scam

A Cranbrook Townsman reader is warning the community about her experience being contacted by a phone scammer.

  • Nov. 8, 2019 12:00 a.m.

A Cranbrook Townsman reader is warning the community about her experience being contacted by a phone scammer.

The reader called in Friday afternoon to report she received a call on Thursday, Nov. 9 from someone claiming to be with Reader’s Digest. The caller informed her that she had won a prize of several hundred thousand dollars and a brand new vehicle.

She was skeptical as she hadn’t submitted any sort of contest form to Reader’s Digest in over 15 years. The caller, who had her address as well, then said that they would drop off the prize at her house, and asked for their drivers licence number.

The woman refused to give it to the caller over the phone, to which the caller responded they would just need to see it upon delivery. They added that she would need to have a sum of $500 in cash for a “delivery fee.” This is when the woman ended the call, kn0wing it was a scam.

The caller had a foreign accent and the call came from a Saskatchewan area code, however Cranbrook RCMP say that phone scammers often utilize technology that generates a random phone number, so calling them back will connect you with a random person or business, even an RCMP office, in one instance.

Sgt. Chris Dodds of the Cranbrook RCMP detachment told the Townsman that they were aware of this particular scam, but have to his knowledge only received one previous complaint about it some time last week. The RCMP will put out a release if they receive more concerns about this particular scam, as they have with the currently-prevalent “Canada Revenue Agency” scam calls that numerous people have been receiving lately.

If you feel suspicious in any way about a caller asking you for personal information, telling you you’ve won something and asking you to pay a deposit, or saying you’re in trouble with the law, hang up immediately and inform the RCMP at 250-489-3471.