The OPP has issued a warning to the public after a pair of Peterborough County residents were scammed out of $78,000 in separate incidents.
According to the OPP, officers were called to a home in Havelock-Belmont-Methuen Township on July 31 to investigate a fraud totalling $50,000.
“The victim reported that the suspect contacted them and stated their credit card information had been stolen and numerous transactions had been made. The suspect informed the victim that their remaining assets cannot be accessed until the fraudulent transactions have been paid for,” reads a media release.
“The victim made multiple payments using Google Play cards as requested by the suspect.”
Earlier that day, officers attended a residence in Asphodel-Norwood Township to investigate a fraud totalling $28,000 after being contacted by someone posing as a Service Canada employee.
“The victim was informed that a warrant has been issued for their arrest due to fraud and money laundering complaints. The suspect informed the victim that they would be receiving a phone call from a local law enforcement officer,” the media release reads.
“The victim was later contacted by someone posing as a police officer with the Campbellford OPP. The suspect informed the victim that they would be arrested if $28,000 wasn’t sent immediately. The victim proceeded to deposit the money in a bitcoin account as requested by the suspect.”
All consumers can take some basic steps to better protect themselves from becoming victims of fraud:
– Never provide personal information or banking details over the telephone unless you initiated the call;
– Hang up immediately if there’s anything suspicious or unprofessional about the call – Service Canada and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will never threaten you with immediate arrest, use abusive language or send police; and,
– Service Canada and the CRA will never request payment by Interac e-transfer, online currency such as bitcoin, pre-paid credit cards or pre-paid gift cards such as Google Play, iTunes, Home Depot, etc.
“The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, of which OPP is a partner, estimates only five per cent of victims report the crime to police,” the media release reads.
If you think you have been a victim of fraud, contact the Canadian Anti‐Fraud Centre at 1‐888‐495‐8501 or report online by clicking HERE.
You can also contact your local police service.