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Calgary woman charged in fraud targeting Edmonton woman
Published Thursday, February 4, 2016 12:28PM MST
Calgary police have charged a 19-year-old woman in connection with a significant fraud that targeted a woman from Edmonton, who was drawn in by promises of a phony lotto win.
Police say that on January 26, an Edmonton woman was contacted over the phone by a man who said she had won a $1M prize, but in order to claim the prize, she needed to transfer money to an unknown account.
Taken in by the scam, the victim unwittingly transferred $45,000 to the account given by the caller over several days.
Bank managers at the Calgary bank where the unknown account was housed soon became suspicious and contacted police to report the activity.
The next time the suspect came to withdraw money from the account, the police were called and arrested the individual.
Claudine Ratidzo Mbofana, 19, is charged with theft over $5,000 and money laundering.
Investigators are still trying to track down the male who made the calls.
Officials with the Western Canada Lottery Corporation say that you should always be wary of cold calls from people claiming you've won a cash prize in another country or province where you have not bought a ticket.
Lottery winners in Canada are not required to pay taxes or fees to claim any prize.
In the case that you are provided a cheque from a third-party organization to assist in paying supposed taxes or fees, these documents are more than likely fake and will bounce.
Residents should also be concerned when callers instruct them not to share news of their win with anyone, including family and friends under the pretense that it would disqualify you from winning.
Anyone who believes they may have been a victim of a similar scam is encouraged to contact the police at 403-266-1234.