Police recover $100,000 in cross country fraudulent flooring purchases
2023-07-11 10:34 PDT
File # 2023-38263
On July 5, 2023, Kelowna RCMP were contacted and advised of a possible scam in which someone purchased a large amount of hardwood flooring using fake identification and a stolen credit card.
Peter Kowalski of Kelowna Floors had previously negotiated a deal with a male by the name of
Steve Brown who purchased approximately $30,000 in hardwood flooring to be shipped across the country. As per company policy, Brown was required to provide a copy of his identification and when he did, Kowalski became suspect of the id. Kowalski provided the identification to the Kelowna RCMP who confirmed the identification was fraudulent.
Kowalski determined through his industry associates that Brown made similar purchases at competing businesses, including $25,000 at Express Flooring and another $25,000 at Dannburg Flooring. Dustin Dyck of Express Flooring informed police of a scheduled pick up for his purchased product, which had since been determined to be fraudulent, which provided police an opportunity to intercept.
On July 7, 2023, Kelowna RCMP intercepted a freight company that had arrived to collect the product from Express Flooring. The driver and passenger from the vehicle were arrested however later released as they were not believed to have knowledge of the offences.
Police seized approximately $100,000 in flooring also believed to be obtained fraudulently from flooring stores located in Richmond, Kamloops and Salmon Arm. The vehicle was scheduled to transport the flooring to Quebec on July 10 with additional stops and pickups beforehand. The businesses associated to the additional pickups were contacted and informed of the fraud.
Kelowna RCMP are still investigating this matter and engaging their partners across the country to assist as necessary.
This is a textbook example why stores should have internal policies as it relates to high value purchases using credit cards, especially over the phone Cpl. Michael Gauthier i/c Media Relations Unit.
Thanks to an observant store owner and cooperation from a few others, we recovered and likely prevented another handful of high value fraudulent purchases. We rely heavily on the professionals in our community to identify when something doesn’t feel right, and in return only ask that they reach out for our help when it doesn’t.
Cpl. Michael GauthierMedia Relations Unit Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge
1190 Richter Street Kelowna BC V1Y 2K7
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