Criminals involved in frauds are often called “fraud artists” because they are usually talented at manipulating the victim into believing they are dealing with a legitimate sales or service company, charity, government branch, banking institution, insurance company, or individual in need.
Shelburne police continue to receive reports of frauds of all types. Some of the frauds are local and in person. But many take place over the phone, through email, or social media, and these often stem from outside Canada.
Here are some tips to help prevent losing money and becoming a victim:
- Remember the saying “If it’s too good to be true – it probably is”
- Question the validity of any requests for money or personal information from anyone you didn’t initiate contact with yourself
- Take the time to verify a company, charity, or a certain person, product, or service is legitimate by seeking out a telephone number through Canada 411 or the yellow pages and calling it, rather than trusting all the information you are being provided
- If you aren’t sure, just hang-up or say no and end the communication.
- Fraud artists often use common company or charity names to sound legitimate. Verify that the person you are talking to is an employee of that institution.
- Canada Revenue Agency will never notify you by email of money owed.
- Canada Revenue Agency will never send police to arrest you if you don’t immediately transfer money to pay taxes owed.
- Legitimate banks, credit card companies, and private investigators will never ask you to assist in an investigation and withdraw or transfer money.
- Never transfer or wire money to anyone you don’t know personally, or you have verified 100%
- Never provide you social insurance number, credit card number, bank card number, or any other personal information over the phone, through email, or social media unless you have taken steps to 100% verify it is legitimate
- Contact police to verify any information prior to providing personal details or transferring money. “We would be happy to verify information for you. We prefer we do some checks and find out that it is legitimate, rather than end up taking a report from you as a victim of fraud”, states Constable Neumann.
- Don’t use the links provided in an email that appears to be from a known company or institution. Go to the official website and begin your communication from there.
If you believe you have been contacted by a fraud artist, or received email or regular mail that is a fraudulent attempt, you can report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/index-eng.htm.
If you have become a victim of a fraud (money lost) or of identity theft, report it your bank and to the police immediately.
For more information on the different types of frauds and for more prevention tips, check the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website at http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/index-eng.htm.