July 30, 2021 – The South Simcoe Police Service wants to alert the public after receiving reports of different types of frauds.
- A resident received a call from someone claiming to be from the Canada Revenue Agency and demanding payment of an unpaid debt. The fraudster was spoofing the South Simcoe Police Service phone number and requested payment in iTunes gift card. The resident recognized this was a scam and hung up the phone.
- A resident was contacted via a messaging app by someone posing as the resident’s boss. The fraudster instructed the employee to buy iTunes gift cards and provide the codes to him by email. The employee complied but later learned from the real boss that he never sent any messages.
- A resident called a 1-800 phone number in a pop-up after the person’s computer crashed. Turns out it was fraudsters who had the person change all passwords on the computer while the suspect still had control. The resident then received a call from a fake technical support worker at the bank, saying the person’s account was compromised and enlisted help to catch a crooked employee. The fraudster had the person set a “trap” by wiring a sum of money to an overseas account. The person complied and realized too late that it was an elaborate scam.
- And finally there are the relentless texts we all receive on our smart phones trying countless ways to get us to click on a link. Don’t.
Fraudsters continue to come up with new ways to try to trick you into parting with your hard-earned cash. They prey on our busy lives or an in-the-moment vulnerability.
Remember these tips to recognize and prevent frauds:
- Always validate the legitimacy of online requests or phone calls and contact the sender to confirm the source is legitimate.
- If a phone number from someone demanding payment appears to be a police service, hang up and call the police service.
- Remember that official agencies will never ask for gift cards as payment.
- Resist pressure to act quickly and ask the caller if you can call them back.
- Trust your instincts. If it feels wrong, it probably is.
- Contact police or someone you trust if you have any doubts.
- Just take a moment, step back from the situation and disengage. Time is on your side.
- Never share personal information with anyone you don’t know over the phone or the internet.
To report incidents of fraud to police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.Visit their website for additional information on scams and how to protect yourself.