YRP Warn Of Increasing Reports of Fraud Scams
Investigators with the York Regional Police Major Fraud unit would like to make citizens aware of a variety of frauds that have been reported across York Region and are warning residents to be careful sharing personal information.
Video courtesy York Regional Police - Constable Andy Pattenden
CANADA REVENUE AGENCY (CRA) SCAM
York Regional Police has seen a recent increase in reports of tax-related scams often done by phone or email where the suspects are identifying themselves as police officers. In recent incidents, fraudsters have made contact with victims by telephone and have identified themselves as police officers calling to collect overdue taxes owed to the CRA. The fraudster advises the victim that they have an overdue amount of taxes to pay and if they don’t they will be arrested. The suspects in some cases have been able to utilize software to alter their phone numbers to make it appear that they are calling from a police phone line. Suspects have also shown up at one victim’s residence looking for cash.
York Regional Police does not engage in tax collection of any type and do not arrest individuals in relation to overdue taxes. Any call or email of this nature should be considered a scam. If you have concerns about the possibility of overdue taxes, this should be discussed and confirmed directly with the CRA. More information on the CRA can be found at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca.
There have been increased reports of scam lottery emails and personalized letters received in the mail advising consumers they have won a jackpot. Consider the following when you receive a solicitation of this kind as lotteries do not notify winners by email, randomly select email addresses to award prizes to use free email accounts (Yahoo, Hotmail, etc) to communicate with you. Lotteries also do not tell you to call a mobile phone number, tell you to keep your winnings secret, ask winners to pay any fees up front (like taxes or a security deposit) to receive a prize. If it seems too good to be true, it almost always is.
In this type of fraud, the suspect creates a false dating profile and goes to great lengths to makes this false identity believable. The suspect will use a number of tactics and schemes to build trust and establish a relationship with the victim. These relationships often progress very quickly to an emotional point where the victim is so invested in the relationship that they feel compelled to help when the suspect begins to ask for money. Due to the volume of reported online romance scams the Major Fraud Unit has released two crime prevention videos with victim interviews to help prevent others becoming a victim.
York Regional Police is reminding citizens to be cautious and to confirm any suspicious calls or emails they receive before providing any information. If a situation feels suspicious, trust your instincts. Do not be talked into providing personal information or payments by methods that you are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with and call companies or agencies back to verify information. Share this information with your family, especially seniors.
If you have been a victim of a fraud, and have lost money, report the incident promptly to the York Regional Police Major Fraud Unit at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 6612. To report frauds where no money has been lost, contact the the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online or by calling 1-888-495-8501.