Frauds and scams are happening everywhere, and Shelburne is not the exception. Frauds and scams take many shapes and forms. Some are conducted in person, some over the phone, some through email, and some through social media. Certain fraud artists target businesses, and others residents. Unfortunately the most vulnerable in our society often end up being the biggest victims – including the elderly, and those who always give the benefit of the doubt.
According to the Better Business Scam Tracker website, Canadians lost a reported $90 million in 2016. That is up significantly from $61 million dollars in 2015. They also believe that a large amount of scams are not reported.
According to the Better Business Bureau, the top ten scams for 2016 were:
- Fake offers of Employment: $5.3 million.
- Online dating: $17 million.
- Identity fraud: $11 million.
- Advance fee loans: $1.1 million.
- Online purchases: $8.6 million.
- Wire fraud spear phishing: $13 million.
- Binary option scams: $7.5 million.
- Fake lottery winnings: $3 million.
- Scam involving person claiming to be from CRA: $4.3 million.
- Fake online endorsements: Amount unknown.
Shelburne Police encourages everyone to protect themselves by always taking steps to verify any and all information before providing any personal information. Here are some suggestions:
- “If it’s too good to be true – it probably is”.
- Second guess every offer – don’t give anyone the benefit of the doubt no matter how professional or charismatic they may be
- Check with your bank or insurance company in person or use a phone number you know belongs to the institution
- If you’re not sure how to verify an offer, call the police for assistance. “We would be happy to make some inquiries to ensure you don’t become a victim of a scam. You will enjoy that phone call much more than if you are reporting to us that you have lost money to a scam”, states PC Neumann.
For more information on the different types of scams and for prevention tips visit the Better Business Bureau Scam Tracker website at: www.bbb.org/scamtracker/canada, or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at: www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca.
If anyone has any information in relation to this case or any other matter, they are encouraged to contact the Shelburne Police Service at 519-925-3312 or anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or online at www.crimestopperssdm.com.