Scams and spam and malicious links, oh my

Sonja writes about the numerous scams awaiting people on phones and computers

Across the Valley - Sonja Lester

Across the Valley - Sonja Lester

Some of the scams out there are sneaky but some are obvious. Our editor, Thom Barker, got an automated message last week that his SIN number was involved in suspicious activity and he was in danger of being arrested by the RCMP. Instant hang up.

I got a recorded message saying my Social Security Number was shut down because it is involved in a fraud. That’s a laugh and an instant hang up! I don’t have a Social Security Number but I do have a USA phone because of a good data plan while travelling.

And in the USA, an 81-year-old gentleman got several person-to-person phone calls saying that he hadn’t deposited his cheque. They called three times and said “give us your information and we’ll do it for you,”


One scam right now isn’t as obvious and has preyed on customers shopping for kayaks.

My daughter and I ordered fold-up, sit-on-top kayaks from Origami. She saw another company selling for much less and with Origami’s video. She wrote Origami asking what is going on and they thanked her sincerely for letting them know.

When she went on the sites Bandoong and SiFinks they both linked back to the same place in Hong Kong, China.

Several times I have thought that I was clicking on a link only to have my computer desk-top become entirely red with very bold print. It also begins yelling out instructions telling me that I’ve been hacked and it has to be fixed right away by calling a certain 1-800 number.

It even tells me that if I turn off my computer dire things will happen to it. But I have to shut it down because I can’t use my computer. When I turn it back on it comes back up with the same, loud, horrible warning.

I finally left it off until the next calendar day and the hacking didn’t come back up. Now I watch out for copy-cat links.

In my e-mails, almost daily, I get an update from someone saying that my website is good but it can use some help. Always a different name. My turn to have fun as I report spam … I don’t have a website.

This is one more reason I trust a hard copy.

For goings-on in the valley please e-mail or call 250-847-4414.

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

Just Posted

Smithers Local Health Area reported just one new case of COVID-19 from Feb. 14-20. (BC CDC graphic)
Local weekly COVID infections drop to one

The Smithers Local Health Area (Houston to Witset) reported a single case between Feb. 14 and20

A health care worker prepares to test a Coastal GasLink field worker for COVID-19. (Coastal GasLink photo)
Coastal GasLink begins COVID screening of pipeline workers

Construction is once again ramping up following Northern Health approval of COVID management plan

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Smithers Weekly Police Blotter: Feb 12 – 19

Smithers RCMP open 83 new files including 15 property crime cases

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

(Black Press file photo)
Charges laid against two suspects in pre-Christmas home invasion

An 88-year-old woman was hospitalized after being bear-sprayed in the face Dec. 18, 2020

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after talking 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. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
COVID: 589 new cases in B.C., and 7 new deaths

No new outbreaks being reported Feb. 26

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

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

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

After nearly 10 months of investigations, Mounties have made an arrest in the tripping of an elderly woman in Burnaby this past April. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Mounties charge suspect for tripping elderly woman near Metrotown in April

32-year-old Hayun Song is accused of causing bodily harm to an 84-year-old using her walker

Most Read