CFN – Here is your Police Blotter for the Cornwall Ontario area for Tuesday January 24, 2012.
FRAUD and SCAM INFORMATION
Cornwall, ON – 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 would like to inform you of some frauds reported in our community and 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.
In the last few months, police have received several reports of telephone calls advising citizens that they have won money and/or a lottery. 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.
Always research the caller’s telephone number and business prior to providing any personal information. If the company or number is believed to be associated to a scam or fraud a warning will be attached to it. These types of scams are difficult to trace and the suspects are sometimes not found.
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.
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.
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?). This should be making you think of a scam. Hang-up!
A recent report was submitted from a resident advising that Canada Revenue had sent an email informing of a payable refund for taxes by simply clicking on a link. The link requested personal and banking information for a direct deposit and confirmation of bank account. The fraud was caught when the complainant found spelling mistakes in the document and confirming the email with a trusted accountant and government officials.
The government officials have confirmed that they would not send any pertinent information by email and all important documents would be sent by mail directly to your home.
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 defense 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 or emails 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
- Any emails from government or banks
- Requests for loans or cash online or telephone.
- 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 of a scam or a fraud, 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 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. 2758 or 2782, 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”.
Cornwall, ON- A 15 year-old Cornwall youth was arrested on the 23rd of January, 2012. She was bound by an undertaking with the relevant conditions to attend school without truancy, and keep the peace and be of good behaviour. It is alleged that on the 23rd of January, 2012, she failed to attended school. Police were contacted and an investigation followed. She was charged with 2 counts of breach of undertaking and held in custody until court the following day. The youth’s name was not released as per provision under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
Cornwall, ON- A 29 year-old Cornwall man was arrested on the 23rd of January, 2012. He was bound by a probation order with relevant conditions to keep the peace and be of good behaviour, and not to be within 50 meters of place of residence, employment, worship of his 24 year-old ex-girlfriend. It is alleged that on the 23rd of January, 2012 he attended his ex-girlfriend’s residence. Police were contacted and an investigation followed. He was charged with 2 counts of breach of probation order and released to appear in court on the 6th of March, 2012. His name was not released as it would identify the victim in this incident.
Cornwall, ON- Christopher Heisler, 21 of Cornwall was arrested on the 24th of January, 2012. He was bound by an undertaking with the condition to report to a specific society as required. It is alleged that on the 10th and the 20th of January, 2012 he failed to attended a scheduled appointment. Police were contacted and an investigation followed. He was charged with breach of undertaking and held in custody until court later that day.
Cornwall, ON- Tracy Coleman, 31 of Cornwall was arrested on the 24th of January, 2012 under the strength of an outstanding warrant. It is alleged that she failed to attend court on the 20th of December, 2011 and a warrant was sought. She turned herself into police and was released to appear in court on the 7th of February, 2012.
And from the OPP:
(South Dundas) – On January 23, 2012 at approximately 4:30pm, SD&G OPP officers responded to a report of a male youth who was missing from a residence on Irish Headline Road, South Dundas Township. The youth has been in a verbal altercation and fled on foot. He was located a short time later by police and returned. Further information revealed the youth had caused damage within the home during a situation on January 21, 2012. He was arrested, charged and released with conditions. Police re-attended the residence shortly thereafter following a report the youth was being defiant to conditions imposed.
The 13year old male youth from South Dundas was arrested and held in custody, pending a court appearance (bail) this date (24Jan12) in Cornwall charged with;
- Fail to Comply with Undertaking
(South Glengarry) – On January 24, 2012, at approximately 12:30am, SD&G OPP officers on patrol had the occasion to observe a male youth pedestrian who was in contravention of conditions imposed (non communication order) from a previous incident.
The 17year old male from South Glengarry was arrested and is charged with;
- Fail to Comply with Undertaking
He is scheduled to appear in Alexandria court on March 7, 2012.
ICY ROADS CAUSES HAVOC
(SD&G) – On January 23, 2012, SD&G OPP officers were kept busy responding to calls for service after wet road conditions turned icy as temperatures dropped late afternoon. From approximately 4:00pm into late evening, police responded to a total of 32 traffic related calls (Stormont-4, Dundas-4, Glengarry-24!) from vehicles in the ditch to property damage collisions. Fortunately, no injuries resulted.