Surrey RCMP are asking business owners to report any incidents of attempted extortion, after such threats surfaced in three Lower Mainland communities.
The Abbotsford Police, Surrey RCMP and the Vancouver Police Department have received reports, or heard rumours on social media and radio stations, about business owners receiving extortion threats, Surrey RCMP Cpl. Sarbjit Sangha said Thursday (Nov . 23) afternoon.
“We don’t have the number of businesses (affected),” she said, noting they were alerted to it through radio stations reaching out to them because people were calling and reporting it to the radio station.
“People were not directly calling police, but reporting it to social media… saying they’re being extorted as business owners.
If a business owner – or anyone – receives an extortion threat, they should absolutely, report it to police, Sangha said, adding that’s why Surrey RCMP issued a release on Thursday (Nov. 23) to warn local residents.
“We want business owners, if they are victims, to reach out to the police so we can investigate,” she said.
Reports of the extortion attempts have reportedly, involved letters as well as phone calls, Sangha said.
“It’s very important for people to come forward and tell us how they are being extorted, and what method is being used,” she said.
“This is very concerning and this is happening all across the Lower Mainland. We want our business owners to be fully aware that this is happening in the community,” she continued.
Making a police report is imperative, “so we can investigate it and protect them.”
Surrey RCMP is actively liaising with partner agencies throughout the Lower Mainland.
If you are targeted in an extortion attempt, do not engage with the suspect and do not send any money, instead contact police immediately, the release noted.
Anyone with information is asked to call Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502.