‘Tis the season for frauds and thefts

The Orangeville Police Service would like to remind residents that with the holiday season in full swing, the fraud/scam and theft season is here too. Criminals take advantage of the “season of giving” by attempting to attract generous victims to support their criminal habits.

The criminals behind the frauds and scams are using multiple tactics to contact potential victims including going door to door, sending letters in the mail, placing phone calls and using the internet.

Internet and cellular phone based scams include messages from people claiming to be from the CRA advising of outstanding taxes, phone service providers informing you of over payments and financial institutions asking you to reset passwords. Be mindful when receiving these unsolicited messages. Always check with a reliable offline source before giving any information or completing transactions requesting money or gift card payments.

An increasing number of fraudulent retailers have been recognized on various social media sites. These online retailers advertise seemingly “too good to be true” deals on items such as professional sports apparel and high end electronics. Transactions are completed with purchasers never receiving the items that were purchased.

Police remind residents to be vigilant when it comes to door to door campaigns, online purchases and any easy money making claims. Residents should use common sense and remember that if it sounds too good to be true it probably is a scam. Take the time to research a product, service or business opportunity to avoid becoming a victim of these crimes.

For more information about frauds and scams visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website at www.antifraudcentre.ca.

Thefts from vehicles continue to be a common occurrence in our community and police remind citizens again to keep valuables out of sight and lock vehicle doors at all times. Thieves not only target vehicles in private driveways but also in shopping malls, recreation centres and school parking lots.

By being aware of your surroundings and taking the time to practice a few precautions, the Orangeville Police Service hopes everyone will enjoy a safe and secure holiday season.

Posted on December 11, 2017