Cornwall ON – The Cornwall Police Service warns about Fraud Protection and our Police Blotter for Friday February 25, 2011.
FRAUD and SCAM INFORMATION
Cornwall, Ont. – The Cornwall Community Police Service recognizes that its’ not always easy to spot a scam and that new ones are invented on a daily basis. If you suspect that you may be a target of fraud, or if you have already sent funds, don’t be embarrassed, you’re not alone. The Cornwall Community Police Service along with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre wish to provide you with Crime Reduction tips to reduce the risk.
How Can I recognize a Scam?
If It sounds too good to be true
- You’ve won a big prize in a contest that you don’t recall entering. You’re offered a once-in-a-lifetime investment that offers a huge return. You’re told that you can buy into a lottery ticket pool that cannot lose.
You must pay or you can’t play
- “You’re a winner!” but you must agree to send money to the caller in order to pay for delivery, processing, taxes, duties or some other fee in order to receive your prize. Sometimes the caller will even send a courier to pick up your money.
You must give them your private financial information
- The caller asks for all your confidential banking and/or credit card information. Honest businesses do not require these details unless you are using that specific method of payment.
Will that be cash… or cash?
- Often criminal telemarketers ask you to send cash or a money order, rather than a cheque or credit card. Cash is untraceable and can’t be cancelled. Also, criminals also have difficulty in establishing themselves as merchants with legitimate credit card companies.
The caller is more excited than you are
- The criminals want to get you excited about this “opportunity” so that you won’t be able to think clearly.
It’s the manager calling
- The person calling claims to be a government official, tax officer, banking official, lawyer or some other person in authority. The person calls you by your first name and asks you a lot of personal or lifestyle questions (like how often do your grown children visit you?).
The stranger calling wants to become your best friend
- Criminals love finding out if you’re lonely and willing to talk. Once they know that, they’ll try to convince you that they are your friend – after all, we don’t normally suspect our friends of being criminals.
It’s a limited opportunity and you’re going to miss out
- If you are pressured to make a big purchase decision immediately, it’s probably not a legitimate deal. Real businesses or charities will give you a chance to check them out or think about it.What can I do to protect myself?
Remember, legitimate telemarketers have nothing to hide
- However, criminals will say anything to part you from your hard-earned money.
- Be cautious.
You have the right to check out any caller by requesting written information, a call back number, references and time to think over the offer.
Legitimate business people will be happy to provide you with that information. After all, they want the “bad guys” out of business too. Always be careful about providing confidential personal information, especially banking or credit card details, unless you are certain the company is legitimate. And, if you have doubts about a caller, your best defence is to simply hang up. It’s not rude – it’s smart.
If you’re in doubt, it’s wise to ask the advice of a close friend or relative, or even your banker. Rely on people you can trust.
Remember, you can Stop Phone Fraud – Just Hang Up!
I suspect that a relative or friend is being targeted by unscrupulous telemarketers. What can I do?
Watch for any of these warning signs
- a marked increase in the amount of mail with too-good-to-be-true offers
- frequent calls offering get-rich-quick schemes or valuable awards, or numerous calls for donations to unfamiliar charities
- a sudden inability to pay normal bills
- requests for loans or cash
- banking records that show cheques or withdrawals made to unfamiliar companies
- secretive behaviour regarding phone calls.
If you suspect that someone you know has fallen prey to a deceptive telemarketer, don’t criticize them for being naïve. Encourage that person to share their concerns with you about unsolicited calls or any new business or charitable dealings. Assure them that it is not rude to hang up on suspicious calls. Keep in mind that criminal telemarketers are relentless in hounding people – some victims report receiving 5 or more calls a day, wearing down their resistance. And, once a person has succumbed to this ruthless fraud, their name and number will likely go on a “sucker list”, which is sold from one crook to another.
According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, the top three scams are as follows:
Any false, deceptive or misleading promotion of services or solicitation for services. These scams typically involve third parties that make offers for telecommunications, internet, finance, medical and energy services. This category of scams may also include, but is not limited to, offers such as extended warranties, insurance and sales services.
One of the most common scams is the “prize pitch”. Consumers are told they have been specially selected to win a prize, or have been awarded one of three or two of five prizes. These prizes usually include cash or a vehicle. You must purchase a product and pay in advance to receive your prize. These products may include “coin collections”, personalized pen sets, etc. The products are generally cheap or overpriced, but may sound valuable over the phone.
Remember, in a legitimate contest you do not have to purchase a product to qualify for a prize.
You may also encounter the “sweepstakes scam”. After entering a fake sweepstakes contest in the mail, you will receive a call within two to four weeks from a fraudulent telemarketer. This person will usually identify themselves as a lawyer, judge, customs agent or other official. They will represent themselves as an agent for a particular company. You will be told that you have won a large cash award, but money must be sent up front for taxes, etc.
Emergency or “Grandparent” Scam
Though the “Emergency Scam” (or sometimes referred to as the “Grandparent Scam”) has been around for years, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre warns the public to be on alert after noting a marked increase in the number of complaints in the last two months.
In the typical scenario, a grandparent receives a phone call from a con-artist claiming to be one of his or her grandchildren. The caller goes on to say that they are in some kind of trouble and need money immediately. Typically they claim being in a car accident, trouble returning from a foreign country or they need bail money. .
Victims don’t verify the story until after the money has been sent as the caller specifically asks that they do not want other relatives to know what has happened. “
Wanting to help their grandchild, the victim sends money by a money transfer company such as Money Gram or Western Union.
Variations on the scam exist such as an old neighbour, a friend of the family etc. but predominantly the emergency scam is directed toward the grandparents.
If you require further information, please don’t hesitate to contact the Cornwall Community Police Service by dialing (613) 933-5000, ext. 2600, our web-site www.cornwallpolice.com or www.anti-fraudbusters.ca.
The Cornwall Community Police Service is committed to our residents through our Vision: “A Safer Cornwall, reducing crime always”.
ASSAULT WITH A WEAPON, UTTER THREATS and FORCIBLE CONFINEMENT
Cornwall, Ont. – A 27 year-old Cornwall male was arrested on the 24th of February, 2011 following a domestic disturbance investigation. It is alleged that during an argument with his 23 year-old girlfriend, the male uttered a threat to kill her. The male was in possession of a knife at the time of the incident. Police further allege that when the female attempted to leave, he confined her to the residence. Police were contacted and an investigation resulted in the male facing 1 count each of Assault with a Weapon, Utter threats and Forcible Confinement. The male was held in custody until court. His name is not being released as it may identify the victim in this incident.
Cornwall, Ont. – A 51 year-old Cornwall male turned himself into police on the 24th of February, 2011 following a criminal harassment investigation. Prior to the arrest date, the male had been warned by police to stay away from his 46 year-old ex-girlfriend. It is alleged that earlier that day, he followed her in his vehicle and harassed her. Police were contacted and as a result of the investigation, he is facing 1 count of Criminal Harassment. He was held in custody until court. His name is withheld as it may identify the victim in this incident.
(South Stormont) – On 24Feb11, at approximately 7:00pm, SD&G OPP officers responded to a report of a domestic incident on Island Road, South Stormont Township.
The investigation revealed that a female and her 50yr old common law husband were involved in a verbal altercation that resulted in the male assaulting the female.
He was arrested and faces charges of:
- Assault x3
- Utter Threat to Cause Death or Bodily Harm
He is scheduled to appear 22Mar11 in Cornwall court.
DRIVER’S IDENTIFIED IN COLLISION
(North Stormont) – SD&G OPP have released the identity of the driver’s involved in a serious collision that occurred yesterday on County Road 43 east of Avonmore, On.
The female driver of a Grey 2005 Saturn (Shannon TRUELOVE 27yrs old of Newington, On) suffered serious injuries when her vehicle stuck a 2011 White International dump truck being operated by (Luc LACOMBE 48yrs of Alexandria, On).
Charges are pending against the 27yr old female driver who is currently in serious but stable condition in the Ottawa Civil Hospital.
COLLISION CLOSES ROADWAY
(North Stormont) – SD&G OPP officers are currently on the scene of a two vehicle collision that occurred at approximately 6:30am this morning on County Road 43 and Centennial Drive near the village of Avonmore.
Traffic is being re-routed via Clover Side Road to Duff’s Corners Road as emergency crews attend to the scene.
SD&G OPP request that motorists use alternate routes and stay away from the affected area.
(updates to follow as available)