Niagara Region (October 24, 2019) – 25-year-old Kiona Campbell and 27-year-old Marissa MacDonald are facing additional charges in connection with a suspected major bank fraud. Niagara Police’s Central Fraud Unit is investigating the alleged fraud since February 2019 and the ongoing investigation has revealed more offenses. The suspects are accused of capturing personal information on social media and using this information to create several fraudulent bank accounts. During the course of the investigation, the two suspected women were alleged of committing multiple frauds, dozens of identity thefts, and breach of recognizance order charges.
Niagara police suspect a major bank fraud in the region. Since February 2019, the Central Fraud Unit is investigating incidents regarding identity fraud and the opening of fraudulent bank accounts. Following a search warrant, the Niagara police arrested two suspects on March 26. The suspects are two women from Welland: Kiona Campbell and Marissa MacDonald. At this point, the police had already laid fraud charges against both women.
The authorities believe that the two women collected personal information such as dates of birth using social media. This way, it is alleged that several people’s identity information has been compromised including people who have been ‘friends’ on Facebook with the suspects. The captured information was subsequently used to open fraudulent bank accounts and ‘create opportunities for fraudulent financial gains’, according to the authorities.
Police are warning members of the community who may be connected to the accused through social media to check with their financial institutions and/or Credit Bureaus to ensure their personal information has not been affected.
Over the course of the investigation, new offenses have been revealed. Detectives have identified 69 new victims and have laid additional charges against Campbell. Moreover, as a result of further complaints submitted in August from financial institutions regarding the creation and use of fraudulent bank accounts, Campbell and MacDonald have been rearrested and were charged on October 22.
In total, the 25-year old Campbell has been charged with two counts of Fraud over $5,000, Identity Fraud, Possession of Identity Documents, 69 counts of Identity Theft, and two counts of Breach of Recognizance Order. The 27-year-old MacDonald has been charged with Possession of Identity Documents and Breach of Recognizance Order in the course of the investigation.
Anyone with information on these incidents is encouraged to contact Detective Steve Vandenbos at 905-688-4111, option 3, badge# 9123 or via email at Steve.Vandenbos@niagarapolice.ca.