Fort Frances OPP Warn of Social Media Scams and Phone Frauds

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Grandparent Scam
image: depositphotos.com

Fort Frances – NEWS – The Rainy River District Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is warning the public to be aware of fraudulent emails and request for funds in the form of gift cards, money orders or cryptocurrency.

Scammers are increasingly using email, phone calls and other online social media applications as a means of communication to target potential victims. The OPP are warning all residents to be on the lookout for unsolicited messages claiming that you have won a prize as a result of being a new account holder of any new media platform that was recently downloaded to your devices. If you receive a suspicious message from anyone claiming that you won a large sum of money or new vehicle or requesting simply delete the message and do NOT send any money.

Below are some characteristics a scammer may exhibit when calling or sending an email.

  • Urgency — The scammer always makes the request sound very urgent, which may cause the victim to not verify the story.
  • Fear — The scammer plays on the victim’s emotions by generating a sense of fear. For instance they may say, “I am scared and I need help from you.” Verify the identity of the person by asking a question they would not know the answer to.
  • Secrecy — The scammer pleads with the victim not to tell anyone about the situation, such as, “Please don’t tell Dad or Mom, they would be so mad.” Regardless of the emergency, call another family member to confirm the story.

Police would like to remind the public;

  • Never give out personal information over the phone or through email (banking information, social insurance number)
  • Your caller ID system may have been spoofed, don’t let your guard down
  • Always consult a family member or a trusted friend to validate the information received and before sending any money.
  • If in doubt, do not hesitate to contact your local police service or OPP Detachment to discuss the matter.
  • Never send currency in the form of gift card, money order or cryptocurrency when requested
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is a scam.

If you do fall victim to a fraud or know someone who has, we urge individuals to contact your local police service and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) by phone at 1-888-495-8501 or online by way of the Fraud Reporting System (FRS), even if a financial loss did not occur.

If you have information on any crime activity in the area, contact the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or *OPP (677) on your mobile phone. Your call could make our communities safer for all. Should you wish to remain anonymous, you may call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), or submit a tip on line at www.p3tips.com/273 where you may be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $2,000.