Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Nanaimo RCMP are advising the South Asian community to be aware of a telephone lotto scam that surfaced this past weekend in Nanaimo.

On Saturday July 21st at approximately 10:00 am,  a female received a phone call from a  male who introduced himself speaking only Punjabi and Hindi. The caller told  the recipient they had won $50,000 in a lotto that was recently advertised on Channel 531 on the Shaw Network. This channel is watched primarily by people whose first language is either Punjabi or Hindi, and is very popular in the East Indian community on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland.

The caller stated that before the female could receive her winnings, she was required to pay an administrative fee of $625.00.  She was then advised to go to the TD Bank within the next thirty minutes and withdraw the money.  “In this particular case, the person targeted knew it was a scam. After telling the individual  that she would not be going to the bank, the caller hung up,” said Constable Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.

The female then called Shaw TV to report the incident.  The Nanaimo RCMP have not received any complaints of this nature to date, but are aware of this scam circulating throughout the Lower Mainland.

If you receive a call similar to this, where you are required to pay money up front, it is bogus.  The best advice is to simply hang up then share your experience with friends and family.  It is also essential that any persons who are recent to Canada or speak only Punjabi or Hindi, are made aware of this scam so they do not fall prey.