Police in Kawartha Lakes have issued a warning to the public after a Lindsay woman was scammed out of nearly $15,000.
According to police, the victim received a telephone call on March 7 from a person posing as an employee at her bank.
“The caller told the woman that her bank account had been compromised and asked her to assist in an internal investigation he was conducting for the bank. The caller further instructed the woman not to report the investigation to her local police service or to her bank branch,” reads a media release from police.
“The woman agreed to assist in the investigation. The caller made several telephone calls to the woman during the following days, instructing her to purchase gift cards and then provide him with the activation numbers from the back of the cards.”
Police say that the woman purchased 83 gift cards, worth $14,950, over the course of four days and provided the male caller with the activation numbers for the cards. At this point, she became suspicious and attended her bank in Lindsay to make inquiries about the internal investigation. Staff at the woman’s bank informed her that she had been defrauded and police were contacted.
“The City of Kawartha Lakes Police Service is warning the public to exercise caution when receiving telephone calls from persons reporting to be employees of a bank, the Canada Revenue Agency or other seemingly real institutions,” reads a media release.
“Legitimate agencies will not use intimidation tactics, they will not request a payment in prepaid credit or gift cards, they will not threaten to contact the police or have you arrested and they will not instruct you not to contact the police yourself…Please also consider having a conversation with any vulnerable people in your life about how they can protect themselves from being victimized by fraud.”