RCMP media relations officer Pam Bolton. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)

Cowichan resident warns of paper mail fraud

Police warn not to send money, personal information

The Valley’s Pat Bredl knew immediately that the letter she received was a fraud.

The senior said she occasionally receives phone calls from questionable people claiming she owes money for some reason, or is eligible to receive large quantities of cash and she should send her personal banking information so she could receive it.

But last week was the first time she has actually received a fraudulent letter in the mail.

The letter claims to be from Marcus Woodford, an accountant with the Switzerland-based MC Accounting.

He said he received Bredl’s contact information when going through an old file of a deceased client, William Bredi, a Canadian he claims passed away five years ago.

The first thing Bredl noted was that the name in the letter was Bred “i”, not Bred “l”.

RELATED STORY: DUNCAN MAN WARNS OF ESCALATING PHONE SCAM

The letter writer said William Bredi left millions of dollars but had no will or beneficiary so he is looking for a relative to give the money to.

“You bear the same last name as him,” the letter said. “All arrangements on how to secure the unclaimed funds have been put in place.”

The letter writer goes on to ask Bredl for personal information so he can begin the process of sending her the money, and asked for her “utmost privacy” in this matter.

Bredl said the fact that the letterhead indicated that the accounting firm was in Switzerland, while the address on the envelope was in Ontario also raised her suspicions about the letter.

“I called the RCMP and they gave me a number for a fraud line,” she said. “I called the fraud line and was told that unless I actually lost money, they couldn’t handle my complaint because they were too busy dealing with complaints from those who lost money.”

RELATED STORY: ANOTHER PHONE SCAM HIST THE COWICHAN VALLEY

RCMP Const. Pam Bolton said the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment receives many reports of frauds throughout the year, whether it comes via email, telephone or letter.

She said there isn’t one form of communication that is being reported more than another.

“In all cases of scams, we advise them to contact the Anti Fraud Centre and/or Equifax, depending on if any information was provided to the ‘company’ or person involved,” Bolton said.

“We like to remind the public that if something seems suspicious about the call/email/letter, it probably is suspicious. Don’t provide any information to them. Don’t follow any links. Never send money without consulting someone whether it be a relative, friend or even your bank.”

People looking for more information about questionable emails, phone calls or other possible fraudulent activities should visit the Canada Fraud Centre’s website.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATED: Cowichan Valley woman files sexual harassment suit against former Mountie

Burkett is also being sued by two other women for sexual harassment

Provincial program aims to keep hazelnuts growing

The goal is to replace trees and establish new orchards with disease-resistant varieties

VIDEO: Talented quartet comes to Duncan for International Guitar Night Jan. 23

Guitarists from England, Turkey, Hawaii, and Finland present stunning, creative event

Coming up in Cowichan: Get your raffle tickets; dementia workshop

Get your Search & Rescue raffle tickets Supporting Royal Canadian Marine Search… Continue reading

VIDEO: Soldiers trade rifles for snow shovels to help dig out St. John’s

A state of emergency is set to extend into a fifth day

Power lines cut as thieves strike Vancouver Island veterinary hospital

‘Thankfully there weren’t any animals or staff in the clinic when this happened’

Warm ‘blob’ could be behind mass starvation of North Pacific seabirds: study

Unprecedented death toll raises red flag for North American marine ecosystems

ICBC to bring in ranking system for collision, glass repair shops

Change comes after the much-maligned auto insurer has faced criticism for sky-high premiums

‘It was just so fast’: B.C. teen recalls 150-metre fall down Oregon mountain

Surrey’s Gurbaz Singh broke his leg on Mount Hood on Dec. 30

Vancouver Island Pride weekend returns to Mount Washington Alpine Resort

Building on the success of last year’s family-friendly pride festival on Vancouver… Continue reading

Scarlett Point lighthouse keeper wins a million bucks playing the lottery

“I usually just get a quick pick, so I didn’t expect to win a big prize”

B.C. woman crowned the fastest female marathon runner in Canadian history

Malindi Elmore ran an incredible 2:24:50 at the Houston Marathon

Most Read