(Delta Police Department photo)

(Delta Police Department photo)

Scam-savvy North Delta couple help would-be victims avoid Bitcoin fraud

Mike’s Convenience Store owners have stopped several folks from being scammed at their Bitcoin ATM

Police are shining a spotlight on the owners of a North Delta convenience store for helping stop several people from falling victim to fraud.

Delta police say retail stores — and those who own or work in them — can have a big role to play in helping to stop a growing type of fraud, and Sarita and Ravi Patel of Mike’s Convenience Store in Kennedy Heights Shopping Centre have already stopped a number of customers from losing thousands of dollars to scammers who tried dupe their victims into making deposits at a Bitcoin ATM located in the store.

According to a press release, Const. Dustin Classen from the Delta Police Department’s cybercrime unit stopped by the store on Nov. 12 to proactively reach out to the Patels about common Bitcoin scams, some of which involve victims being threatened with arrest and/or deportation.

“We talked … and they agreed to post warning signage around the Bitcoin ATM,” Classen said in a press release.

Hours after Classen left the store, the Patels were able to stop a young man from depositing $5,500 in the ATM as part of an attempted scam.

Unfortunately, it’s not the only time the couple have felt compelled to take action.

“We’ve stopped others — young people, seniors,” Ravi Patel said in a press release.

He explained that, in his experience, some of the people targeted are alone and have no one to speak to when they receive the threatening call.

“They are worried about their future. Maybe they are new to Canada and they don’t understand,” he said.

Often times, he says, the scammers will keep their victims on the phone for hours, using threats and intimidation, and refusing to let them talk to anyone else who could intervene and stop them from losing money.

And though he speaks five languages, including Punjabi and Hindi, and is uniquely able to help, it’s challenging for Ravi and Sarita to get the potential victim’s attention and convince them not to follow through on the scam.

It’s a tactic Classen is also familiar with.

“It’s a high-pressure tactic, and these scammers often target victims who are unfamiliar with Canadian laws,” Classen said. “The key takeaway [is] you cannot pay your taxes or utility bills through Bitcoin ATMs in Canada. Anyone who directs you to do this is trying to steal your money.”

As for the young man who nearly deposited $5,500 into the Bitcoin ATM at Mike’s Convenience Store last month, he got back in touch with the Patels via text to thank them for stopping him from spending months of his savings.

“You are a breath of fresh air in this society and I appreciate you so much,” he wrote.

His kind message meant a lot to the Patels.

“This kind of gesture helps us in boosting up our energy levels to serve the beautiful North Delta community. We find our purpose of coming to Canada and serving nice people is coming true,” Ravi Patel said.



editor@northdeltareporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

DeltaNorth DeltaPoliceScams

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

Just Posted

Pixabay image
Surrey recovers 29,000 jobs it lost to pandemic

That’s according to Surrey Board of Trade’s fifth Surrey Labour Market Intelligence Report on COVID-19

Desmond Tompkins helped curate and host a youth art show at the South Surrey/White Rock Learning Centre. (Contributed photo)
South Surrey/White Rock Learning Centre art show highlights ‘diverse perspectives’

With COVID-19 protocols in place, youth art show underway

RCMP Isp. Benoit Maure (top right) has written a book, Leading at the Edge, which details Canadian peacekeeping missions, including his own 1999 mission in Guatemala (bottom right). (Contributed photos)
Longtime RCMP officer pens book on Canadian peacekeeping efforts

RCMP Insp. Benoit Maure’s new book, Leading at the Edge, features stories from 10 missions

The SACH Community Hub team, from left to right: Upkar Singh Tatlay, Gary Thandi, Allysha Ram, Jassy Pandher, Harman Pander. (Submitted photo)
There’s help for South Asian men wrestling with drug addiction in Surrey

South Asian deaths related to toxic drugs increased by 255 per cent between 2015 and 2018

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) is looking into the death of man discovered Jan. 11 in east Maple Ridge. (Black Press files)
B.C.’s police watchdog investigating man’s death in Maple Ridge

Man was found dead Jan. 11 after recent contact with police

Chilliwack Law Courts. (Black Press file)
Man sentenced to 20 months for sexual offences involving a minor in Mission

Will Laws Clark was 22 and victim was 13 at time offences began

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Police discovered a makeshift nightclub in a Vancouver apartment on Jan. 23, 2021, and say it wasn’t the first time this month officers have been called to the unit over social gathering concerns. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Doorman of makeshift ‘booze-can’ in Vancouver apartment fined; police look to court order

This marks the fourth complaint about social gatherings inside the apartment in January

A Kelowna couple welcomed their Nooner baby in December. (Flytographer)
Kelowna couple welcomes baby girl from Hotel Zed Nooner campaign

Nicole and Alex will now have 18 years of free stays at the hotel

Most Read