Better Business Bureau warns of new scam targeting British Columbia women

These events are all scams in form of a classic pyramid scheme.
These events are all scams in form of a classic pyramid scheme. (Photo: iStock)

The Better Business Bureau has alerted the public to a new pyramid scheme which targets women.

The BBB reported having received several calls from women residing in the Lower Mainland, B.C., who are being invited to a woman’s financial circle, financial collective or wisdom circle.

These events are all scams in form of a classic pyramid scheme. Scammers lure women to parties under false pretenses, such as helping someone in need, spiritual healing or empowerment for women, and then proceed to talk the women into investing $5,000 to get an investment return of $40,000. Only, the returns never materialize and the women end up losing their “investment.”

Unfortunately, these circles or collectives encourage participants to bring or invite friends, all with the aim of being able to perpetuate the new fraud by gaining new victims.

To avoid this scheme, watch out for “investment” opportunities that seem too good to be true, where you invest a little money but are supposed to get a lot back, especially if you would be investing with a private investor.

Although the Anti-Fraud Centre has a national hotline for those who know of or fell victim to such a scheme, those who call may get the message, "We are sorry, but all of our lines are presently busy."

Apparently, CAFC can’t handle the volume of calls it’s presently receiving, and it’s possible you’ll hear an automated message and then get hung up on.

That was the recent experience of Whitehorse, Y.T. resident Ron Leduc when he attempted to contact CAFC. Leduc told CBC News, "They said, due to calls that were coming in and that there were too many of them, please try again later on. . .So you keep trying, trying and trying till you get on. That might take days."

You can try to call CAFC, or you can contact the BBB, or your local police department.

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