THUNDER BAY – Online scams can separate you from your money. These scam artists work hard to find ways to convince you that the sting they are doing is real. The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) want to alert area residents of a scam that has currently been reported circulating in Ontario. This report is from the Hamilton Township, but as the Internet is everywhere, if it can happen there, it can happen here.
A resident reported to the OPP that she received an instant online message from who she thought was from a friend asking how she was and that her name was observed as winning the online Facebook Power Ball lottery.
The victim was sent a link to the online lottery and she was advised to contact a representative through the specific link. The victim then opened the link which informed her that the more money she sends the larger the prize she would be entitled to.
The victim was suspicious that it may be a scam but because the original message received was from her friend she thought it was a legitimate claim.
Money was then sent in U.S currency to an account she was given by the online representative through the link she received. A couple of days later the victim received a phone call advising that her prize was currently at the airport and more money was required.
The victim then contacted the friend the original online message came from and realized she had been scammed.
Legitimate lotteries which you can find do not require you to pay a fee or tax to collect winnings. You cannot win money or a prize in a lottery unless you have entered the contest yourself.
The list of scams and frauds grows daily and residents need to be aware that if an offer or product seems to be too good to be true, it quite possibly is.
For more fraud facts and figures and a downloadable booklet (PDF), visit The Competition Bureau of Canada website at https://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/eng/home or by visiting http://www.opp.ca and http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/index-eng.htm