THUNDER BAY – Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) would like to remind the public that there are many schemes being used to defraud the public and businesses.
If you receive any unsolicited communication by any means asking for money to be given or that you won money, be cautious and suspicious. Never give out any personal, credit or banking information to anyone over the phone, by letter, email, fax or any other means of communication. Often, the victims are presented with a situation that is either very serious and/or needs immediate attention and they feel pressured to provide the information requested on the spot. This is a tactic frequently used in the scams.
Here are just a few examples:
- Computer Virus Scam, you will receive an e-mail stating your computer has a virus and there will be a link to click on to fix your computer. As soon as you click on that link, the fraudster now has complete access to your computer and all personal/financial information you may have stored.
- Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Scam, criminals extort money from their victims through a fraudulent communication that claims to be CRA. The communication requests personal information such as a social insurance number, credit card number, bank account number or passport number. They make false claims about the victims owing money and they are very aggressive.
- Internet Card Scam, where a pop-up survey displays on a computer screen with a survey where an iPhone can be won. The survey requires the entry of personal and credit card particulars. Charges then being to appear on credit card statements that the victim did not authorize.
- Bank Security Scam, where a fraudster represents themselves as security from a local bank and asks for assistance in a criminal investigation. The fraudster asks the victim to withdraw money to be given to the fraudster in person. A reward is sometimes offered by the fraudster in order to further coerce the victim to participate.
The OPP Anti-Rackets Branch report that every year thousands of Canadians are victimized and millions of dollars are lost through many forms of fraud.
March is Fraud Prevention Month so the East Algoma OPP are working with community partners to educate the public through various means. “Awareness is key when it comes to recognizing frauds and scams. There are so many types out there but the better educated the public are, the less chance they have to fall victim to these ruthless scammers”, says Community Safety Officer Phil Young.
If you believe that someone is posing as a fraudster on the phone, hang up. Also, you can file a complaint through the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501. If you are a victim of a fraud or scam, contact your local police agency.
Remember, You Can Stop Phone Fraud – Just Hang Up!