Family of missing man targeted by online scam; Be careful what you post on social media

Yarmouth, Nova Scotia – On January 12, 2021, a family member of Zachary Lefave, who was last seen New Years Day, was the target of a scam. In an unsolicited text message, in somewhat dis-jointed English they were told that their loved one was still alive and would be released if they would send $7,000 in gift-cards and if not he would be killed.

The family immediately contacted police. Police investigated and determined the text appeared to come from various locations in North America as well as Africa, and determined a Virtual Private Network or VPN was being used. Police believe personal phone numbers were posted on social media to assist in locating Zachary Lefave and most likely, this is how the fraudster obtained the family contact number.

Scammers Calling
(File Photo) Scammers Calling

“The person responsible used technology to disguise their location and then preyed on a vulnerable family who are doing everything possible to find Zach,” says Sgt. Terry Faulkner of the Southwest Nova Major Crime Unit.

No monies were sent to the fraudster in this case. Everyone is reminded of the risk taken when providing personal information on social media. Cpl. Wayne Ross of Nova Scotia RCMP Financial Crime says “Red flags to look for include requests for payment in gift cards or cryptocurrency and broken English. These are things everyone should be aware of, regardless of the scam as fraudsters will try anything to scam anyone out of their money.”

The Yarmouth Rural RCMP are still seeking any information on the whereabouts of Zachary Lefave. If you have any information, please contact the Yarmouth Rural RCMP at (902) 742-9106. If you wish to remain anonymous, please contact call CrimeStoppers online or at 1-800-222-8477.

File# 2021473

Nova Scotia RCMP



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