LETTER: Good to warn of ‘Bitcoin bomb’ scam but don’t forget ‘Telus loyalty’ scam

Good that The Chilliwack Progress passed on the RCMP’s warning of the “Bitcoin Bomb” scam (Sept. 3, 2020). But the RCMP have never warned the public of the “Telus Loyalty” scam that has been active for at least two years. In the “Telus Loyalty” scam, a perpetrator phones older Telus numbers to more likely get a senior. Then the perpetrator fraudulently identifies as a Telus representative and states either:

a) That Telus technicians have noticed the senior’s computer is using an excessively high amount of band-width, which could mean that an intruder has gained access to the computer, and to be on the safe side Telus will check the computer; or

b) The senior is offered a special Telus Loyalty billing reduction, if the senior agrees to a two-year “continuation-contract.”

In both versions, the perpetrator says the Telus customer must first verify that he or she is a Telus customer by correctly answering two preset questions:

What is the customer’s Telus PIN?

What is the bank and account by which the customer usually pays Telus bills?

Using these answers the “Telus representative” has either gained access to the senior’s computer, or has the bank and account information, from which money is withdrawn with little hope of regaining it.

This happened to me and I reported it May 10, 2019 but the RCMP operator told me that nothing could be done because the fraudsters were outside of Canada.

Subsequently, I phoned Telus’ Fraud Victim Assistance and asked why Telus would not implement a method of allowing its customers to verify their representatives, such as having a phone number to call back with an employee PIN similar to the ones Telus requires its customers to verify their own identity. I was told it was not in Telus’ policy to have a method to verify its representatives for its customers safety. Also Telus customers are not permitted to contact Telus’ Fraud or Legal teams as these Telus departments do not “customer-face.”

The take away is that the RCMP and Telus, both of which have extensive international affiliates, will not protect Canadian citizens from international fraudsters, and that is why there are so many out there.

So now that you are warned, be very careful.

Bryan Stephenson

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