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Cons cost Grey Bruce residents over $500,000

South Bruce OPP received 53 reports of fraud from March 31, 2021 to July 26, 2021 and 37 of them were successful cons.

In 21, or 40% of these reported cases, money was sent to a con artist. The total dollar loss for these 21 reports is more than $505,000.

The method of contact for these 37 calls was primarily online (30) through social media, email and internet “pop-ups”. The remaining successful frauds were initiated by a phone call (7).

The majority of the money was lost to Cyber-Fraud. Crypto-currency scams took the highest dollar value and gift card scams were the most commonly reported scam involving dollar losses.

In 16, which is 30% of these reported cases, personal information was shared with a con artist.

South Bruce OPP urges anyone who shared financial information, such as credit card or bank account numbers, call the bank for assistance. People who shared an identity document issued by the Government of Canada, such as a Social Insurance Number, can contact Service Canada for assistance. And people who shared an identity document issued by the Government of Ontario, such as a driver’s license number, should. contact Service Ontario for assistance.

People can use the following methods to avoid becoming a victim of fraud:

– Cons and scams are attempted daily by phone, social media, email, text, fax, mail or door to door.

– Understand that we are all potential targets for fraud.

– Tech-savvy scammers will use technology to create very convincing schemes to trick you into sending them money.

– They will use the name of an established company, pretend to be someone you know or even impersonate a branch of the government.

– Remember that you can’t win a contest that you didn’t enter in the first place.

– If something seems too good to be true, it most likely is.

– Fraud is going to continue as long as the scammers make money.

– Your best defense is to always verify any unsolicited contact. Unsolicited means that you didn’t ask for it.

– Be very cautious with wire transfer requests, overpayment offers, spelling mistakes and requests for personal and/or banking information.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) reported 28,517 Canadians have lost a total of $105.4 million from January 1 – June 30, 2021. Anyone interested in more information on fraud can visit the CAFC online at www.antifraudcentre.ca.

The South Bruce OPP is requesting anyone with information to call 1-888-310-1122. Should you wish to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or submit a secure web-tip at www.cstip.ca, where you may be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $2000.
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