HURON COUNTY – Scam artists seem to never give up – constantly preying on vulnerable people. It is important to be aware, and especially in many cases to make sure older parents or grandparents are aware. This attempted fraud was stopped because a bank employee was able to help the potential victim.
Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is continuing to investigate a fraud occurrence that nearly victimized a Hensall resident out of several thousand dollars last week.
Police were notified last week by a local bank manager that reported one of their clients almost became a victim of the “Lottery Scam”. In this particular case, the victim, a senior in her 80’s reported to police she received a call from a male claiming that she had won the grand prize lottery. At first, OPP reports the victim was somewhat skeptical however she was ultimately convinced she was the big winner.
However, in order to claim her lottery winnings, the victim was advised she was going to have to pay an upfront fee. She was provided instructions and was directed to send a cheque for $7,500 to an address in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The victim followed through and sent the cheque. Upon learning the victim had sent the money the scammer called back and requested a second cheque for $22,500 be sent to the same address. Once again the victim followed the scammer’s instructions and sent off another certified cheque.
The greedy scammer then called back and requested a third cheque for $2,000. This time an alert bank employee sensed something was amiss and inquired further about the unusual transactions the client was making.
Fortunately for the victim, the scam was detected and the two cheques that were previously sent out were canceled prior to their arrival. Had it not been for the awareness and actions of the bank employee this victim would have lost at least $32,000.
Police are urging all residents to be aware of unsolicited calls representing legitimate companies or organizations. The Huron OPP are also warning all Huron County residents that if you receive a call from an unknown person indicating that you have won any type of lottery, a new vehicle or exotic vacation you should hang up the phone. This is a scam!
There is no magic to prevent fraud. If it seems too good to be true it likely is. Remember, you can’t win a lottery or contest that you didn’t enter in the first place. You work hard for your money, so work just as hard to protect it.
If you suspect you may be a target or have already sent funds, be assured you are not alone. Call your local police, check out the Ontario Ministry of Consumer Services website at www.ontario.ca or contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (formerly Phone Busters) toll-free at 1-888-495-8501. You can also report the fraud to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at www.antifraudcentre.ca or
Huron County OPP and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre recommend everyone to be pro-active when it comes to fraud. Educate family, friends, neighbors and co-workers on these types of fraud. By sharing your knowledge you just might prevent someone else from becoming the next victim.