Every year, Peel Region Police see more frauds and scams. In 2017, they received 1,957 fraud reports and the trend continues with new scams appearing all the time. To help you stay informed and to prevent you from becoming a victim, spend some time reviewing the emergency scams that most commonly occur through phone or email.
The Emergency Scam
The scam will involve someone presenting themself as a government or financial institution. They will inform you that you have a past-due bill that requires immediate payment. They will request your personal or banking information to gain access to your account.
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You may receive an automated telephone call saying they work for Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) or Immigration Department demanding you pay funds immediately. Failure to pay will result in you going to jail or being deported.
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The caller will say a member of your has been arrested. They may claim to be an officer or lawyer, who will give you instructions on how to send money so the family member can be released.
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The message will say they have accessed your email, phone messages or social media accounts and have obtained incriminating video or information about you. Failure to pay will result in the information becoming public.
What you should do:
In all cases, do not provide any personal information. That includes account numbers, social insurance number, maiden name, passport information, passwords or any information about yourself.
Do disconnect the line or delete the message and do not open any links or attachments.
Should you have any concerns, contact your regular provider using the phone number on your account statement to confirm that your services and payments are in order.
You can also visit the government agency’s website to verify any requests. Contact the police if you are concerned about someone’s safety or well-being.
The scammer’s stories are constantly changing but it will always be urgent and require immediate payment in a variety of forms, including cash, bitcoin, iTunes or store gift cards.
Remember: stop, disconnect and confirm the information through appropriate channels if you have any concerns.
Visit peelpolice.ca/en/safety-tips/fraud-and-scams for more information on frauds and related safety tips.