SURREY — Surrey Mounties are asking for help to identify a woman who allegedly scammed at least one person online, claiming she needs cash for a surgery.
Police were contacted in March by a woman who said she met someone online, through a website set up to help Filipino immigrants.
Police said the suspected fraudster identified herself as Creste Gelera, which they believe is a bogus name, The suspect convinced the woman to give-up her bank account information so Gelera, who purportedly couldn’t cash a cheque, could deposit one into the woman’s to cover a $2,500 surgical procedure she claimed her husband needed. Once the cheque was deposited, the woman was told to withdraw the cash and give to Lulu Beth, which police also believe to be a bogus name.
Shortly after, the bank advised the woman that the cheque was fake and that she’d been cheated.
“This is a classic fraud that preys on people’s kindness, generosity and sincere desire to help one another,” Sergeant Alanna Dunlop said. “Take steps to protect yourself and your money. Wait until a cheque is cleared by the bank before withdrawing the money and never give out your banking information or passwords. It’s always a good idea to be overly cautious if you are in contact with strangers on the internet.”
The suspect is Asian, about 35 years old, has dark hair with pink highlights and in surveillance photos obtained by the Surrey RCMP was wearing eyeglasses, a grey sweatshirt and a black vest.
Police ask anyone with information to contact the Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502.