Telephone Fraud

Many thieves use the telephone to commit fraud.  These criminals are looking for unsuspecting individuals who will give them important information like Social Insurance Numbers, dates of birth, credit card numbers, or bank account numbers. Once they have your information, they use it to make fraudulent purchases, obtain credit, or to access your bank accounts.

Stop Telephone Fraud --- Just Hang Up!

Telephone fraud costs Canadians more than $100 million every year. Some people lose their cars, houses, and even worse they lose their life savings.

Signs of a scam:

~It sounds too good to be true.

~You’ve won a "big prize" in a contest that you don’t recall entering or you’re offered a once-in-a-lifetime investment that offers a huge return.

~You must pay or you can’t play.

~You’re a winner but you must agree to send money to the caller in order to pay for delivery, taxes, duties, or other fees in order to receive your prize.

~They often ask you to send cash or a money order, rather then a cheque or credit card. Cash is untraceable and can’t be cancelled.

~The person calling claims to be a government official, tax officer, banking official, lawyer, or some other person in authority.

Many scams also unfortunately target the elderly.  Criminals have recently masqueraded as the grandson / granddaughter of elderly residents and targeted them for money.  The caller usually identifies himself as a grandchild that has been arrested out of town and they require money to get bailed out of jail.  In these scams, the callers are well informed and have a lot of personal information about the potential victim.

If you or anyone you know receives a call like this from a "relative" requiring money, take the following steps:

1. Get the caller to give you a contact number.
2. Contact your local police service.
3. Relay the information to the police.
4. Let the police do a follow-up to confirm the situation.
5. Your local police service will advise you of what actions you should take IF the situation is legitimate.
6. Never send money and/or cheques and reward the criminal.

 

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