Grey Bruce Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) ask residents to continue watching out for cons and scams after a con artist made nearly $10,000 from a resident of Southgate Township on January 15.
Posing as a “child”, they claimed they had been involved in a collision and were under arrest. The scammer was able to get a ‘payment’ of $9,450.
There were two more attempts made that day, using the same scam, one in Southgate Township and one in Dundalk. Neither of these attempts resulted in a financial loss.
This is commonly known as the Grandparent, or the Emergency, scam which has been around for a long time. Unfortunately, it will continue to be used if it continues to make money.
Tech-savvy scammers use technology to create very convincing schemes to trick you into sending them money. They will commonly use the name of a real company to gain your trust so that you will send money or personal information to them.
In the case of the Grandparent/Emergency scam, the scammer will likely have information about your grandchildren from an online search, so don’t question them, just hang up and contact your family to verify the “emergency”.
Grey Bruce OPP offer some tips to help protect you from a con artist:
- If it sounds too good to be true, it likely is.
- Remember that you can’t win a contest that you didn’t enter in the first place.
- If you have a concern about your computer, take it to a reputable repair shop for service. Do not provide remote access to a ‘tech’ that calls you out of the blue.
- Gift cards are a red flag. If someone contacts you and directs you to buy gift cards, you need to hang up the phone.
- Your best defence is to verify any unsolicited contact. Unsolicited means that you didn’t ask for it.
Fraud is a multi-million-dollar enterprise that will only end when they stop making money.
Anyone interested in more information on fraud can contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or check online at http://www.antifraudcentre.ca/.
Grey Bruce OPP request that anyone with information to call 1-888-310-1122. Should you wish to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or submit a secure web-tip at www.cstip.ca, where you may be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $2,000.