The Nipigon and Schreiber Detachments of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have noted an increase in reports of fraudulent emails and telephone calls in recent weeks. The OPP recommends confirming who you are dealing with before sending any money or sharing personal information over the internet or telephone.
Scammers are increasingly using email, telephone calls and 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 frauds that claim you have won a prize, large sum of money, request of donations or that they have something special to offer. Do NOT send any money, especially in the form of gift cards, money orders or cryptocurrency. Be cautious purchasing items over the internet that require you provide money up front.
Individuals should never respond to suspicious communications
Here are some warning signs:
- Urgency– The fraudsters always make the request sound very urgent, which may cause the victim to not verify the story.
- Fear — The scammer plays on the victims’ emotions. 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 fraudster pleads with the victim to not tell anyone about the situation.
Police would like to remind the public.
- Never give out personal information over the phone or internet (banking information, social insurance number).
- Your caller ID may have been spoofed, don’t let your guard down.
- Always consult a family member or the company directly before sending any money.
- Never send currency in the form of gift cards (iTunes, Google Play, Steam, Walmart), money orders or cryptocurrency.
- If it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is a scam.
If you or someone you know suspect that they have been a victim of fraud, 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. For more information, please visit www.antifraudcentre.ca
When in doubt or if it doesn’t sound right, hang up the phone!