The Orillia OPP say they have been made aware of several scams in the areas the Orillia OPP polices.
The first scam involves a deal that is too good to be true. The victim goes online and finds their dream vacation, hotel, car or anything they are willing to pay money for. The scammer then requests payment in iTunes, Google Play or other gift cards. The victim sends the PIN to the fraudster and never receives the product or service. The scammer will continue to request payments until the victim gets wise to the scam.
Sometimes the scammers will pose as officials saying that the victim owes money and will be arrested or harmed if they do not comply and send money immediately. Again, they will request payment in gift cards or ask for your credit card information including the 3 digits on the back.
Some tips to remember when shopping online or if contacted over on the phone or the internet:
- If it’s too good to be true, it’s likely a scam.
- Reputable companies don’t ask for payment in gift cards.
- Banks, Service Canada and other financial institutions have your personal information and would not ask for it from you.
- Don’t give out personal information i.e. mothers maiden name, credit card information, social insurance number etc.
- You can hang up the phone.
- Don’t call the number they provide, call 211 or look for the number in the phone book or Canada411.ca.
- Take a few hours to think about the situation before giving out money.
- Call someone and ask for help.
Another scam that is taking place locally is one where the suspect actually approaches the victim in the parking lot of a store stating the victim had dropped 20 dollars or pick-pockets you. The suspect then almost forcefully tries to place the money back into the wallet of the victim removing a bank or credit card. This scam actually started several minutes before the face-to-face interaction where the perpetrators were watching your transaction from a short distance away memorizing your pin number and then targeting you after you leave the store.
Some tips to keep in mind when shopping in our community:
- Keep your PIN secure, if someone is behind you move to a position where they cannot see.
- Put your payment cards back in your wallet and zip up your pocket or purse.
- Disable the TAP feature.
- Set daily limits on transactions.
- Don’t open your wallet or purse for anyone you don’t know.
- If someone offers you something that sounds too good to be true, it is.
- If you want to help the needy there are several local food banks and shelters in need of money. The person in need can attend one of these resources for assistance.
The Orillia OPP encourages citizens to report suspected frauds in our communities. There are many resources that can be found online in order to help recognize and stop frauds from happening. The Canadian Anti-Fraud Center (CAFC) has been an instrumental tool in assisting law enforcement agencies and citizens in this ever evolving crime. The CAFC can be found online or contacted through their toll free number 1-888-495-8501.