Kenora Senior Bilked by Identity Theft Scam

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Fraud

KENORA – NEWS – Frauds and scams targeting anyone are disgusting, but when it is senior citizens it is even worse.

In Kenora, the OPP report that a senior citizen has lost a significant amount of money after fraudsters claimed she was under investigation for identity theft.

The scam began with a series of phone calls. Fraudsters claimed they were representatives of the courthouse and that they needed money transferred from the victim’s bank accounts as the part of the investigation.

The Fraudsters said someone had used her SIN to open bank accounts in her name. They asked the victim to put a verification number into Google and called repeatedly until the individual drove to a different community to deposit money into a bitcoin machine.

Harassing phone calls continued, and the victim was urged to travel outside of the community again to deposit more money – she declined. While making the second deposit in Kenora, the victim called 911 to report the incident.

Here is what has been happening and what you should be aware of:

·      The victim receives a phone call from someone pretending to work for a banking institution or government agency. Government agencies do not use bitcoin machines

·      The scammer tells you that your bank accounts are at risk, or you are being investigated and money needs to be secured in a Bitcoin account

·      They provide an address for you to deposit funds into a bitcoin machine

·      The fraudster requests you attend your banking institution to withdraw funds

·      After doing so, they request you to purchase prepaid gift cards and asking you to provide the gift card numbers, or deposit the funds into a bitcoin machine

·      Often times, there will be a request not to tell anyone, to keep it a secret to avoid further trouble

How to protect yourself:

·      If something doesn’t seem right hang up

·      Call your local police service and meet with an officer

·      Make a follow up call to the actual banking institution or government agency to confirm information, first doing research to confirm you are calling the right number since Caller IDs can be fake.

For more information regarding ongoing scams in Canada or to report fraud, visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at http://antifraudcentre.ca/ . If you believe you have been a victim of fraud, call Kenora OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).