OPP remind public to watch for fraudsters
April 25, 2012
PARRY SOUND - The West Parry Sound Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) reports a 15 per cent increase of reported fraud occurrences for the first three months of 2012 over the same period in 2011.
The methods being employed by fraudsters are as diverse as the victims they target. OPP has investigated frauds involving credit and debit cards, phone solicitation, merchandise returns at stores, and altered medical prescriptions, to name a few.
“Criminals are constantly looking for new ways and potential victims to defraud,” said West Parry Sound OPP Community Services Officer Charles Ostrom. “Some frauds are extremely complex and difficult to trace back to the source while others are fairly straight forward and solved in short order. Many of the frauds are old tricks using new technology such as emails and the internet.”
The West Parry Sound OPP was called on March 30, regarding an alleged fraud targeting a local senior. The senior had received a phone call from an individual posing as a bank employee.
The suspect then requested the senior withdraw a substantial amount of money from the bank to assist with the bank’s own “investigation.”
The senior was directed to meet with the caller at a predetermined public place where the money would be handed over to the caller and returned to the bank on the senior’s behalf.
The potential victim sensed that something was up and notified OPP. Police surveillance was conducted at the agreed location, with one officer in a nearby building watching the complainant’s vehicle, and the other officer seated with the complainant within the vehicle. No suspects were identified by waiting officers at scene.
March was Fraud Prevention Month and the OPP provided valuable information to the public to reduce the incidents of victimization by fraud throughout the year. The public is encouraged to contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 for any incidents of suspected fraud as well as OPP at 1-888-310-1122.
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