Fraud Efforts Continue – Payment in Gift Cards A Common Part of the Scam

Fraud Targets everyone

THUNDER BAY – The efforts to separate you from your hard-earned money continue as Fraud Month has started.

Thunder Bay Police Service continues to deal with complaints regarding ongoing phone scams, and while the setup to these scams sometimes different there does appear to be one commonality – gift cards.

In two recent cases, victims reported receiving a call from a person claiming to be a representative of a credit card company. The fraudster told the victims fraudulent transactions had been made on their card and provided a list of instructions that included purchasing Google Play gift cards.

In other previously reported cases, victims have said they were contacted by police officers or representatives from the Canada Revenue Agency and threatened with arrest if they did not comply.

While these cases feature different tactics to panic the target, they almost always appear to be after gift cards. The Thunder Bay Police Service wants to remind the public that no reputable institution will ask you for any payment in the form of gift cards.

If you are concerned but uncertain if a phone call may be a scam, please hang up and independently get a hold of the institution in question. Look up the phone numbers independently and never use the number provided by the potential fraudster or the information from your Caller ID.

The Thunder Bay Police Service is unable to stop these calls from being made. If you are concerned about potential scams and want to learn more please contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (

The Thunder Bay Police Service strongly encourages residents to speak with potentially vulnerable family members and friends about these ongoing scams. These would-be fraudsters are experts at creating a sense of urgency and panic. This panic leads to quick decisions, which oftentimes leads to success for the scammer.

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