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The Calgary Police Division is investigating suspected “See Could Fraud” involving native companies

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The Calgary Police are investigating a popular scam that has spread across North America and allegedly arrived in Alberta’s largest city.

It involves the fraudulent sale or rental of sea cans or mobile shipping containers. Calgary police said they were informed of a case last week – possibly the first in town – after the owner of Secure-Rite Mobile Storage Ltd. filed a complaint.

Lucas Griffin, who founded Secure-Rite years ago, told Global News that his Calgary office had been contacted by a potential customer who had received an offer from another company to obtain a container. The problem – this company was using Secure-Rite’s Calgary address.

“It’s annoying,” said Griffin.

He added that this is a big deal as this type of scam can really damage a company’s reputation.

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“A customer comes to our address and says, ‘Hey, I’m here about my container’. At this point we say, ‘Which container?’

“Then you have an angry customer who broke up with $ 4,000 or $ 5,000 and he thinks he paid for a container … and you won’t give him a container because you didn’t get his money.”

Calgary Mobile Storage Company Warns of Alleged “Sea Can Scam”.

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Griffin said the customer told employees that they had looked at Class Sea cans. The company’s website shows an address in Galveston, Texas and Calgary.

Global News contacted Class Sea Cans several times at the numbers listed on the website. We also tried to reach them via email. Nobody from the company called or emailed us back.

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Const. John Pye of the Calgary Police Service was unable to give us specific details about the ongoing investigation, only that police believed scammers were using legitimate information to develop their own website. He also said that while it can generally be difficult to catch scammers online, victims should still get in touch and file a complaint.

“Especially for fraud,” he said. “There is still evidence from the perpetrators that could lead us to identify or locate them, whether they are IP addresses or whether we are even reaching out to the webmaster to shut him down.”

Griffin said the really frustrating part for companies like being is not knowing where the suspected scammers are from.

“It’s frustrating because these people are working from somewhere behind an IP address, somewhere from a burner phone. With today’s technology, it’s easy for them to hide. “

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Consumer tips to avoid fraud

Both Pye and Griffin advised consumers to be extra vigilant when dealing with online businesses.

It is recommended to consumers:

  • Check the website carefully for spelling and grammar
  • Google company names, addresses and phone numbers regardless of the website they are displayed on
  • Check out online maps or go to the company’s physical address
  • Make sure the photos are legitimate and not photos from a website
  • Check prices in the industry to make sure they are around the same level

“If their prices are well below the industry, it should be a red flag,” Griffin said.

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He told Global News that he knows of several owners of sea can companies in other parts of Canada who have lost money to this type of scam, as well as their reputations. Griffin added that he was just glad he wasn’t one of them – and neither was his prospect.

“We worked hard to build our reputation,” he said.

“It frustrates me that – as if Canada and the world are just not going through enough – someone has money stolen.”

Secure-Rite also reported the case to the RCMP, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center, and the Texas authorities.

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© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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