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‘I thought it was legit,’ says Burnaby victim of fake strata company scam

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A Burnaby homeowners is warning others about a new scam hitting people in the community over their email.

Many homeowners are signed up to receive emails from the company hired by their building’s strata to manage it. Those residents often receive emails from the strata company.

Terry is one of those people and so she wasn’t surprised to get an email about strata issues. This email said the strata had hired a new company to manage the building and that residents needed to sign up through the email by clicking a link.

“I thought it was legit,” said Terry. “We’ve replaced the strata managers before and I thought this was happening because we’ve been unhappy with the management. But I don’t follow the meetings closely and so I didn’t realize that this wasn’t in the works. And so I clicked on the link and a bunch of other owners have been victimized. People need to be aware of this.”

The Better Business Bureau warns about clicking on links from sources you don’t know.

The BBB has shared the following tips on how to deal with text message or email scams:

  • Don’t believe every text you receive. As a general rule, companies cannot send you text messages unless you opt in to receive them. If you receive a text message from a company you have not given permission to contact you in this way, proceed with caution. In fact, any unsolicited text message should be considered a potential scam.
  • Know the classic signs of a text scam. In most cases, the text message includes an unusual link and may promise a reward, threaten a punishment, or generally appear harmless because it seems to be coming from an individual or organization you recognize.
  • Think before you click. Do not click on links in strange or suspicious text messages. This is likely an attempt to gain access to your personal information or install malware on your device.
  • Confirm the information. If an offer seems strange, or too good to be true, contact the company directly by looking up their official contact information online. Call or email customer service to find out if the text message you received is legitimate. 
  • Ignore instructions to text “STOP” or “NO”. Even if you realize the message is a scam, do not text back for any reason. Scammers may want you to text back to verify that your phone number is an active one. Instead, simply block the number so you won’t receive messages from it in the future.
  • Double down on security. In the event the text message was not sent to you randomly, update the login credentials for your Amazon account. If you clicked on the link, do a security sweep for viruses or any malicious software on your device.
  • Report any encounters with a scam. Share your scam experiences to help warn and protect others at BBB Scam Tracker.