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Alberta

Edmonton Police Service is highlighting the risks of finding love online

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  • The victim of an online romance scam is sharing his story in hopes of preventing more people from being taken advantage of by scammers. Online romance scams are a lucrative business- in 2018, the Edmonton Police Service investigated 11 incidents of romance scams totalling an overall reported loss of $1,115,219.74.

    Con was in the hospital when he received a message from a woman who said she had seen his dating profile. He was happy to have the company while he was confined to the hospital bed – even if it was just over the phone.

      

           Sample of images sent to portray the woman’s online profile

    She said she was a United States citizen on an overseas contract as a computer civil engineer. She was a single mom; her son was nine-years-old. Eventually, she would say that she “fell in love with a guy from the internet”.

    Months into their chats, the requests for money began; she said the camera on her phone was broken but she couldn’t afford to fix it, so she needed $600 to replace it. Con denied her request so she stopped contacting him, but months passed and they started talking again. She asked him for money once again, telling him she was relying on him to get her and her son to the States. So he gave what he could towards a new phone- $100. It wasn’t enough, so she stopped talking to him.

    Nearly a year later, she asked him if he still loved her; the continued to talk for a couple of weeks and then she told him she was laid off and needed help. He told her to go to the U.S. Embassy for help, but she admitted that it was an illegal work contract. She needed to get home, but she didn’t have enough; she was a mere $1500 short.

    The next day, ticket prices went up. He paid the difference. And then her son was diagnosed with malaria. Shortly after, they were in a collision and had hospital bills – she even sent x-rays. But she had money back home; she just needed help paying the hospital bills in order to be released from the hospital. Once she got home she would be able to pay him back. She even “proved” her financial state by sending a picture of her bank accounts in the U.S.A; she just couldn’t access them while overseas.

    Sadly, Con’s dream of having a family was used against him by fraudsters. When one of his banks interfered and the Edmonton Police Service investigated his case, this romance scam came to $143,000.

    When asked why he sent the money, he pauses… “Hope that it would be real. Having her and her kid. Money isn’t important. This is; having someone else in the house besides me.”

    Protect Yourself 

    It is important to remember that romance scammers do this for a living – it’s their job and it can be very profitable.

    “It’s absolutely heartbreaking that these scammers are taking someone’s desire for happiness and using it against them,” Detective Linda Herczeg stated. “They commit all of their time into these scams because it’s their job and it’s lucrative.”

    Websites and apps are constantly used for matchmaking, friendship building, and networking, but users should be aware of the potential risks.

    Signs that a social media or dating profile user is a scammer

    • They ask you for money.
    • They profile you and tell you everything you want to hear.
    • They will find out what you are looking for in a relationship and create events that will play on your emotional to get you to send money – sick children, airline tickets to come be with you/marry you so you can be a family.
    • They groom you for as long as it takes (days, months, years) to get your money by being very attentive, lavishing you with attention, compliments and tell you that they love you. Usually they profess their love early in the relationship.
    • They are always available because it is usually a group of individuals that are sending you messages, working off a script.
    • The images of your “loved one” will be stolen off the internet.
    • Your “loved one” will rarely have a voice conversation with you or have a live conversation via FaceTime or Skype.
    • Your “loved one” will always have an excuse why they cannot meet you.
    • They will always find a reason for you to send them more money.

    You can find more information on online scams and online dating safety tips on the EPS website.

    The EPS reminds citizens that fraud prevention is continuous – we need to recognize it through continual education, report it, and stop it. We ask that you share this information with those in your life who may be a target for romance scams.

    If you are a victim of any fraud in Edmonton, please contact the EPS at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile device. In other jurisdictions, contact the local RCMP.


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    Alberta

    Advanced polls are open and voting is underway!

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  • From the Government of Alberta

    Alberta’s Chief Electoral Officer, Glen Resler, confirms that advance polls are now open.  Advance poll locations are available throughout the province from Tuesday, April 9 to Saturday, April 13.

    Advance poll locations are available to all eligible electors and for the first time are providing a ‘Vote Anywhere’ service, whereby electors can receive the ballot for their electoral divisions, at any location.

    Information about the locations and their hours of operations can be found on Where to Vote cards mailed to electors, in local newspapers and on www.elections.ab.ca.

    Eligible electors are Canadian citizens who reside in Alberta and are at least 18 years of age or older on Election Day.

    To be added to the list of electors, an elector may register at an advance poll or on Election Day by providing authorized identification containing their name and residential address.  A list of authorized identification is on our website: https://www.elections.ab.ca/wp-content/uploads/Authorized-Identification-Poster.pdf

    The ‘Vote Anywhere’ service is only available at the advance polls.  Electors voting on Election Day, must vote at their assigned voting location.  Election Day is Tuesday, April 16, 2019.

    For more information about the provincial general election visit www.elections.ab.ca, call toll free at 1-877-422-VOTE (8683) open weekdays from 8:15 am to 8:00 pm and weekends from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, and on voting days from 8:15 am to 8:00 pm, join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

    Elections Alberta is an independent non-partisan office of the Legislative Assembly responsible for administering provincial elections, by-elections and referenda.


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    Alberta

    RCMP officer shoots man near Eckville. ASIRT investigating

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  • From Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT)

    Investigation continues into RCMP officer-involved shooting

    On April 6, 2019, at approximately 8:15 a.m., RCMP were advised of an Eckville, Alberta location where stolen oilfield property might be found.

    An RCMP officer responded to the reported location at the rear of a strip of businesses on the north side of Eckville.

    The officer found four vehicles at the location. As the officer was checking the vehicles, he located a man who appeared to be sleeping in a Ford F250 truck and made cursory observations of the interior of the vehicle. The officer returned to his police vehicle and checked the licence plate number, which came back registered to a different vehicle. The officer requested assistance to his location, placed a spike belt and returned to his police vehicle to await assistance.

    While the officer was waiting for assistance, a confrontation occurred that resulted in the officer discharging his service pistol.

    The man sustained a single gunshot wound that resulted in serious, but not life-threatening injuries. He was treated on scene by EMS, transported to hospital and admitted. He remains in hospital.

    The Ford F250 was determined to have been stolen approximately 5 days earlier from Saskatoon and the licence plate was also determined to have been stolen.

    With the investigation underway, ASIRT will not make any further comment until the matter is concluded.


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