Fraud and scam reminder to residents

Your Orangeville Police Service would like to remind residents that fraud and scams are still prevalent in our community. Police continue to receive reports of residents being targeted by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) scam, authority scams and distraction scams.

Phone calls are being received by fraudsters claiming to be from the CRA advising people that they owe money to the CRA. They are told that they can settle their debt for a fraction of what is owed if they pay off the debt immediately. They are told to make payment with various gift cards and in some incidents by Bitcoin. The fraudsters will even go so far as to tell the person that the police will attend their homes and arrest them if they don’t follow the instructions given. The public can easily recognize that these incidents are scams by remembering that the Canada Revenue Agency would never operate in this fashion. If you are questioning whether or not you owe money to the CRA please contact the CRA directly to make inquiries.

On Friday, October 4, 2019, a 31-year-old Hanover woman was in Orangeville when she received a call from who she believed to be the Hanover Police Service as her call display said Hanover Police. The woman was advised to complete a Bitcoin transaction to avoid being arrested. The woman attended a convenience store on Broadway and completed a transaction of more than $10,000. The woman contacted police when she realized that she had been the victim of a fraud.

Distraction scams involve at least two fraudsters. One may engage the targeted victim by dropping some money on the ground while the second is stealing an item such as cash or a credit card from a purse. Police remind the public to be aware of their surroundings and not leave handbags unattended and vulnerable to thieves.

On Saturday, October 5, 2019, a 58-year-old area woman was approached by a female in the Walmart parking lot, claiming to be lost and asking for directions. The alleged lost female was drawing the woman’s attention to a map while a second person is believed to have removed a wallet from the victim’s vehicle. The victim didn’t realize what had happened until she received a message from her bank advising of activity on her credit cards. Within a few hours the victims Visa card was used at an Orangeville business and bank, as well as a business in Fergus.

Police are continuing to investigate both incidents and remind residents to be vigilant for these kinds of scams in our community.

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

Posted on October 8, 2019