Halifax police outs scam advisory involving WeChat

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Halifax Regional Police has issued a scam advisory warning citizens about a scam involving the social networking app WeChat.

The police said that its Financial Crime Unit of the Integrated Criminal Investigation Division has received complaints on three separate instances over the course of last several months from victims who have been defrauded by people whom they met through WeChat.

According to the police, the scammers first connected with potential targets using WeChat and then later persuaded them to purchase various gift cards or online shopping credits in exchange for promises to meet for sexual services. The scammers convince the victims to send them the gift cards’ pin numbers or codes and/or the online shopping credits. After the scammer receives the info, they cease communication and the victim is out the amount of money they used to purchase these items.

The police is urging anyone who has been victim of such a scam to come forward and provide all the details so as to help them with the investigation.

The police has also put out some recommendations who like socialising online. The police says that whenever you contact or agree to meet someone online, you need to remember that you really don’t know who the person so. If you are using a dating site, ensure that you read and understand their privacy policy and enable all the security features so as to protect your profile as well as identity. Try to remain anonymous on such sites until you feel comfortable that the other person is trustworthy and only then take things forward.

The police is also recommending users to refrain from providing information such as last name, address, workplace, phone number or any other identifying information when corresponding online. Never disclose credit card, banking information or any payment receipts that may have personal details such as PIN numbers. Don’t provide your address under the guise of receiving gifts or flowers.