Police are warning about scammers right now. Black Press file photo

Police are warning about scammers right now. Black Press file photo

Driver blames dog after driving into ditch in Comox

RCMP Briefs: Beware of handyman and other scams this season

A driver tried blaming the dog for an accident earlier this month.

On Dec. 1, the Comox Valley RCMP received a report of a vehicle that had been driven into a ditch on Lazo Road in Comox. Upon arrival, the investigating officer was met by a woman and her dog. The woman told police that it was just her and her dog inside the vehicle at the time the vehicle went into the ditch, and that the dog was driving. The officer judged that the woman’s ability to operate her motor vehicle was likely affected by alcohol. Ultimately, the driver was issued a 90-day immediate roadside prohibition after refusing to provide a breath sample.

Funny money making rounds

Comox Valley RCMP have received recent reports of counterfeit $100 bills being used at local businesses. If these fake $100 bills are in our community, they might not only be used at businesses but potentially for private sales (Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, etc.). Police say it is a good time to review any bills for the security features present in Canadian currency and ensure you’re checking your cash. For more information about counterfeit prevention, please visit the Bank of Canada website.

The Handyman Scam

The Comox Valley RCMP are warning residents to be cautious if someone comes to the door offering handyman services. In past years, residents of the Comox Valley have been targeted by a man offering handyman services to seniors. This man has travelled door to door offering services such as eavestrough cleaning, yard work or other handyman jobs. After gaining the trust of homeowners, the man has taken valuables from homes or failed to complete jobs for which he had already been paid.

The Comox Valley RCMP ask residents to be vigilant and call the police immediately if someone suspicious comes to the door offering handyman services. They also provide the following tips:

• Never pay up front – This makes it too easy for the fraudster to take your money and leave without completing the job.

• Be wary of the “just in the neighbourhood” excuse – It is suspicious when someone was just in the neighbourhood and happened to notice a problem with your home’s roof, driveway, chimney, windows, etc. This is not a company who is going to every door offering everyone a service. You have been targeted.

• … or of more than one showing up – When a pair of this kind comes knocking, it’s not uncommon for one person to try to distract you (often outside) while the other sneaks inside for a quick theft.

• Check for identification – don’t be afraid to ask for identification, a business card or some sort of credentials.

• Do your homework before you commit to anything.

Is the RCMP calling you?

On Dec. 8, the Comox Valley RCMP received a report of a fraudulent call being placed from what appeared to be an RCMP phone number. The person on the call claimed there was a computer problem, which required repair; however, before any exchange of money took place, the caller hung up. This is a reminder that scammers will often spoof their phone numbers to trick people into answering the phone and believing they are speaking with a trusted source. For more information on how to protect yourself, please visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

RCMP Briefs