Online or on-phone scammers never take a break, and Ontario Provincial Police are noticing a number of schemes that are trending the past month.
Const. Michelle Simard says one is the romance scam, in which a vulnerable person is duped into sending money to someone they meet online, under the guise of helping with medical expenses.
Another comes in a text message, purportedly from your bank. It tells you it has money to deposit in your account, “please click the link”.
“Please don’t click the link,” Simard pleads. “Your bank is never going to deposit money through a text message. They’re going to do it to your bank account. You’re never going to have to do it. If the bank owes you money, they’re going to put it into your bank.”
The scammer is actually looking for access to your account to remove money, not deposit any.
“If you don’t know where it’s from, don’t click it,” is Simard’s earnest advice. “If you are absolutely unsure, ignore it. If it’s that important, they’ll text you again or they’ll give you a call.”
SOME CURRENTLY TRENDING SCAMS
- Overpayment Scam– The scammer agrees to purchase something you are selling on-line. They send you a bank draft or cheque for more than your asking price. They ask you to deposit the draft or cheque and pay them back the difference. They are hoping you do this before your bank realizes the draft or cheque are fake.
- Crypto Scam– The scammer convinces you to open a crypto trading account where they will convince you to deposit a small amount of money. The scammer will then show a fake account indicating large gains on your initial investment and convince you to invest more. The scammer then advises you that you must pay fictional taxes or fees to access the funds. When the victim wants to withdraw the money, the scammer will often vanish. The scammers not only gain access to the victims deposited funds but also gains access to your mobile devices and computers to obtain your personal information as a result of downloading the trading app.
- Bank Account Scam– Text messages and/or emails from financial institutions asking you to click on a link to verify your account information. DO NOT click on the link as it is a scam.
- Romance Scam– scammers target vulnerable people who may be lonely and gain trust by creating a fictitious relationship. After time, they request money be sent to them for various reasons; sickness in family and can’t afford medication, surgery, airline ticket so you can finally meet, housing/rent money, etc. That person you are communicating with is NOT who they say they are.
Remember, any legitimate agency will NEVER request a payment by wire transfer, online currency such as bitcoin, pre-paid credit cards or pre-paid gift cards such as Google Play, iTunes, Vanilla, etc. Scammers will ask you to purchase large denomination gift cards as a form of payment. Also, they may ask you to send cash, but hidden inside the pages of a book, then box the book and wrap it in an excessive amount of packing tape.
If you believe that someone is posing as a fraudster on the phone, hang up. Also, you can report it through the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501. If you are a victim of a fraud or a scam, contact your local police agency.
-Source: Ontario Provincial Police