Have you received a scam phone call or email?
Anyone who receives a suspicious communication should immediately report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre or to the institution that it appears to be from.
Click here to see what you can do if if you're a victim of fraud.
Only call police if you have lost money to the scam or if you are victim of identity theft.
If you do call police to report a fraud, please call 519-824-1212 ext. 7470 to book an appointment.
This year, the OACP has chosen to focus on raising public awareness about financial crimes and fraud ahead of the national Fraud Prevention Month in March. Our campaign theme is: "Know Who You're Dealing With...". Click the picture for more information.
Educate yourself with these Resources
- Report all Frauds
- Do your Research
- Share your experiences with Family and Friends
- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
- Don't be afraid to ask questions and verify information.
- Personal Information is just that - Personal!
- Shred all documents
- Report lost / stolen cards immediately
- Don't carry unnecessary identification like your Social Insurance Card, Birth Certificate, Passport, Cheque books
Credit/Debit Card Fraud
Payment cards are either stolen or skimmed at businesses and then copied and used by fraudsters
- Avoid having credit cards with high limits that you aren't using
- Use the same credit card for any/all online purchases
- Ask questions if you see your card swiped multiple times
- Keep your cards in a secure place and never leave them unattended
- Keep track of billing statements
- Never give your PIN number to anyone
- Always shield your PIN number
- Do not write your PIN number down
Current Ongoing Scams
Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)
Fraudsters are calling victims, sending letters and emails claiming to be from the CRA and asking them for personal or banking information.
Canada Revenue Agency clearly states on their website that they will not request personal information of any kind of a taxpayer by email.
Advanced Fee Scams
Victims are tricked into paying up front for vacations, loans, prizes or inheritances. Often the scam involves wire transferring money to the fraudster.
- Real lotteries and loaning agencies do not ask you to pay fees up front.
- Never send money to anybody you don't know.
Anti-Virus Scam (i.e. Microsoft)
People pretending to be from Microsoft contact victims and promise to speed up or repair their computer systems. The fraudsters will often request remote access to the victim's computer and then install programs such as 'key logger ' to capture sensitive information.
- Do not allow anyone remote access to your computer.
- Do not click on links within unknown emails.
Victim receives a letter or an email offering employment as a "Mystery Shopper". Upon acceptance of the offer, the victim will receive a cheque. They will be instructed to use a Money-Transfer Company and wire a portion of that money back to a named person. The cheque will later be deemed fraudulent and the victim will be held responsible for the financial loss.
- Do not send a Wire Transfer/Interac e-transfer/Money Transfer to someone you do not know.
The victim places an advertisement to rent out an accommodation. They then receive a cheque for the rent which is more than was required and are asked to wire the overpayment back.
- Don't accept a cheque or money order for payment that is more than what you agreed upon.
- Do not Wire Transfer/Interac e-transfer/Money Transfer to someone not known.
Identity Theft / Fraud
The fraudster wrongfully obtains and then uses personal information for financial gain (to obtain new credit cards, loans, bank accounts, etc. in the victim's name.)
- Personal information is stolen from wallets, purses, mail, or online phishing sites
- Carry only the ID you need
- Keep track of billing statements
- Shred any bills, statements, receipts, documents or old ID containing personal information
- Cancel and destroy cards you don't use
- Don't give out personal information by email
- Ensure firewall, anti-virus and spyware are up-to-date
- Order a copy of your credit report yearly. Check for accuracy.
Traffic Infringement Scam
Victims of this current scam are receiving emails stating that they have committed a traffic infringement. The email appears to be coming from government authorities, such as police, and contains a reason for the infringement (usually negligent driving), an infringement number, date of issue and the amount due. The email states that the fine must be paid immediately, and connects victims to a link to enter in their personal information. The email will also have an attachment (usually in the form of a .zip) that infects victims computer with a virus once opened. While these emails may look legit, police are reminding citizens that government bodies and police services do not issues traffic notices via email, nor will they request an email address during a traffic stop. Never give out your personal information online to untrusted sources. Other telltale signs of a phishing scam include: unsolicited emails, spelling and formatting errors, suspicious hyperlinks. Remember to always go with your gut. If an email seems fishy, it probably is. You can find more information on fraud here.
A new scam has seen to be surfacing as online users notice pop-up or advertisements offering a free trial or free coupon, on the condition they complete a survey. Usually, when asked to participate, consumers are also asked to provide their credit card information to pay for the shipping and handling of the gift. Without reviewing the terms and conditions, victims are unlikely to see the hidden fees associated with the offer, which include monthly fees that are nearly impossible to cancel. These fees can range from $1.99 to $1000. This scam also extends into other areas, such as free weight loss pills, or free subscriptions, especially related to helping consumers live a healthier lifestyle. In order to prevent this fraud from happening, victims should contact the suspected company, keeping a record of all their communication. Victims are able to refuse delivery of goods and should contact their respective financial institution or credit card provider to request a charge back due to fraud.
There are a large variety of travel fraud scams circulating the Internet right now. Some include the free or "discounted" vacation scams, points scams, vacation rental scams and time share scams. The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre has put out a bulletin regarding these scams in an attempt to provide awareness on a number of travel scams targeting Canadian consumers as well as merchants in the travel industry. To read this bulletin, please click here. And always remember, if it seems like the deal is too good to be true, it likely is!