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Alberta

Edmonton Police Service is highlighting the risks of finding love online

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6 minute read

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

Calgary Flames edge Dallas Stars 3-2, strike first in NHL playoff series

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EDMONTON — Dillon Dube scored twice in the first period and the Calgary Flames beat the Dallas Stars 3-2 in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series on Tuesday.

Rasmus Andersson also scored for Calgary, which advanced to the best-of-seven series by beating the Winnipeg Jets in four games in the best-of-five qualifying round.

Denis Gurianov and Jamie Benn scored for Dallas, which went 1-2 in the seeding round to earn the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference. 

Dube and the Flames power play were the difference in the afternoon contest, held at Rogers Place in front of no fans due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Calgary scored the first goal of the game midway through the opening period with Alexander Radulov off for interference. Milan Lucic threaded a cross-ice pass to Dube on the rush. Dube fired a low one-timer past the outstretched glove of Dallas netminder Anton Khudobin.

As the Flames celebrated, Radulov swore a blue streak at the refs as he skated back to the Stars bench.

The Flames were 5-for-17 with the man advantage in their series against Winnipeg.

Dube had a busy period. He later went off for cross-checking Dallas forward Jason Dickinson head first into the boards. (“That’s a dangerous play. I’m going to call it every time,” a referee could be heard barking at Dube afterward in the empty arena).

Dube jumped out of the penalty box and took the puck on a breakaway, but was foiled on the shot by Khudobin.

With less than two minutes to go in the frame, Dube undressed third-pairing Dallas defenceman Andrej Sekera. Blasting down the right wing, Dube went wide around Sekera, swooped in front of the net, held the puck and tucked it past a sprawled Khudobin.

Dallas pushed back in the second period, peppering Calgary goalie Cam Talbot with shots to even the score.

Midway through the period, Gurianov fired a wrist shot from the blue line that appeared to bounce off the back of Calgary defenceman T.J. Brodie and in.

Nine seconds later, Benn wristed a knucklepuck from the blue line that bounced in front of Talbot, under his stickside arm and in.

Calgary regained the lead late in the period, with Sekera again playing a leading role. Andersson activated off the rush and whipped the puck from the right faceoff circle. It deflected off Sekera’s stick and over Khudobin’s shoulder.

The game also featured a title bout of team super pests Corey Perry and Calgary’s Matthew Tkachuk. The two dropped the gloves off the draw in the first period and exchanged haymakers before Tkachuk knocked Perry down.

The two are famous throughout the league for antics, pre and post-whistle, that get under opponents’ skins. In the second period, Calgary’s Lucic mixed it up with Perry for shooting the puck after the whistle.

Khudobin started instead of the Stars’ No. 1 goalie, Ben Bishop. A three-time Vezina Trophy nominee, Bishop was out for two of three games in the round-robin seeding round but dressed for the Calgary contest. Khudobin looked sharp in the Stars’ final round-robin game, a 2-1 shootout victory over St. Louis.

The game was a microcosm of the Stars’ season: strong defence, not enough offence.

The top four defenders — Jamie Oleksiak, Miro Heiskanen, John Klingberg and Esa Lindell — allowed few rebounds or close-in shots.

But the offence fell short, even with top scorer Tyler Seguin (17 goals, 50 points in the regular season) returning to the lineup. Seguin was deemed unfit to play for two of the round-robin games.

Dallas averaged 2.58 goals per game (26th in the NHL) in the regular season and scored just five times (once on the shootout) in three round-robin games.

But they allowed 2.52 goals per game on average. Only the Boston Bruins were stingier (2.39).

This is the first time these two teams have met in the playoffs since the Stars moved to Dallas. Calgary played the Minnesota North Stars in the final four in the spring of 1981, losing 4-2.

Game 2 goes Thursday night.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published August 11, 2020.

Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press

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Alberta

‘Very kind:” Slain Alberta doctor remembered by colleagues, patients

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RED DEER, Alta. — An Alberta family doctor slain in his medical clinic is being remember as a kind practitioner, a devoted dad and a jokester.

Dr. Walter Reynolds, 45, was “the best colleague I ever had,” Dr. Edward Ohanjanians said Tuesday.

He said Reynolds was a founder of the Village Mall Walk-in Clinic in Red Deer where they both worked. Reynolds took care of all the clinic’s shopping and scheduling.

Ohanjanians said he doesn’t know how he and the other staff will return to work.

The clinic, sandwiched in between a hair salon and a dollar store, was cordoned off with yellow police tape.

Ohanjanians said he was at the clinic when Reynolds was attacked Monday morning. He was unable to talk about what happened.

“I witnessed the tragic death of my colleague and friend,” he said. “It’s a difficult time.”

RCMP have charged Deng Mabiour, 54, with first-degree murder. Officers wouldn’t say if Mabiour was a patient but that he and Reynolds knew each other through the clinic.

A witness has told media she was sitting in the waiting room when she heard cries for help and people were told to get out. She said a man had a hammer and a machete.

Reynolds was taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

There was a growing display of flowers and cards outside the clinic Tuesday. A medical face mask was tied to a lamp post among the bouquets.

Kristen York placed a smiling photo of Reynolds at the site. She said she snapped the picture before leaving her job at the clinic about a month ago.

“I took pictures of all the doctors and it was just to put on our TV screen so everybody could see which doctor was which,” York said while brushing away tears.

“He was the most kind, loving person ever. He was a jokester. We always joked around. He was just very, very kind.”

Maria Rodriguez, who dropped off flowers, had been a patient of the doctor for 13 years.

“He’s not only a doctor. He’s a friend. He’s an amazing, amazing, amazing person.”

A GoFundMe page was set up to raise funds for the education of Reynolds’ children. By Tuesday afternoon, it had raised $94,000.

“He was a devout father to two amazing young daughters and a loving husband,” wrote fundraiser organizer Dr. Johan Myburgh.

“He loved to run, be healthy and, most of all, spend time with his family.”

Dr. Peter Bouch, who works at another Red Deer clinic, said he and Reynolds were both part of a tight-knit community of doctors in the city who are originally from South Africa.

“We all have regular meetings and go do lectures and stuff like that together, so we all know each other,” said Bouch.

“He was always talking about his daughters … he’s always been very proud of his family and also proud of his medical practice and his patients.”

Bouch said he has been in Canada for 26 years, Reynolds for less than that.

On its website, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta lists Reynolds as being registered to work in the province starting in 2006.

“Hearing about the loss of an Alberta physician under such shocking circumstances is devastating,” the college’s registrar, Dr. Scott McLeod, said in a statement.

“It’s difficult to understand how or why such a tragedy could occur, especially in a care space and to someone who dedicated their life to helping others.”

— With files from Colette Derworiz in Edmonton and Lauren Krugel in Calgary

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on August 11, 2020

 

Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press

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august, 2020

fri07augAll Daymon17WALK TO BREATHE from Calgary to Edmonton(All Day)

thu27aug(aug 27)12:00 amsun30(aug 30)11:59 pmHUGE Garage Sale for Crime Prevention12:00 am - 11:59 pm (30) PIDHERNEY CURLING CENTRE, RED DEER, AB, 4725 43 St, Red Deer, AB T4N 6Z3 Event Organized By: The Central Alberta Crime Prevention Centre

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