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Scams

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 08:43 -- Anna Moscardeli

SCAMS, SCAMS, SCAMS, and more SCAMS.  I had been hearing about so many SCAMS so I decided to follow up with Lambton County’s local finest: OPP Community Safety Media Relations Officer Travis Parsons and Sarnia Police Media Relations Officer John Sottosanti with the hope that just maybe this story will help save someone else from losing their shirt because of these unforgiving individuals who prey on the unsuspecting where fraudsters are using opportunities to attempt to scam consumers and businesses out of their hard earned money.

One of the most current that has been going on for a few years now, is about taxes when someone tries to impersonate a worker with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) by telephone or by email. They are either asking for your identification because of outstanding taxes be paid immediately or that there is a refund pending.

Both Parsons and Sottosanti are advising people to protect themselves by verifying that what is being told is the truth and suggest that one NEVER gives out any information immediately.  They are finding that the Caller’s ID usually are coming up with a phone number that contains about 7 to 10 numbers, normally with the number 7 being repeated.  Both officers strongly suggest that the recipient hang up immediately.  As well, emails being received are almost identical to either the CRA website or other companies that the fraudster is impersonating.

Unfortunately, because many of these individuals are calling from overseas, prosecution is very hard.  According to Sottosanti who himself received a call and identified himself as an officer, the caller stated, “We’re scammers and you are never going to catch us.”

Door to door appears to be another scam, and police are stating that you should never give out any information under any circumstances.  Many of these individuals, although he or she has not signed anything, they are later finding out that they are under a contract which is not easy to get out of.  Always make sure that if someone approaches your door, take down the company information and call the company directly.  And DON’T EVER give them a copy of any of your bills.  That’s how they get your information and that is where your nightmare could begin.

The most popular scams are water heaters, identity theft, romantic encounters, Microsoft computer issues, and prize collections to name a few.

According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud web site, “While situations like these often bring out the best in people, they unfortunately also bring out the worst in some people. The Competition Bureau is warning Canadians that scammers may be looking to take advantage of your kindness by asking for donations or masking themselves as fake charities in order to profit from current disasters.”

Both Parsons and Sottosanti highly suggest that if you are a victim or receive a phone call, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca immediately and report your incident.

Don’t be a victim of fraud.  Protect yourself.  Remember, if it doesn’t sound right, than it probably isn’t right and if you really want to get rid of your money, give it to me.  Just kidding. 

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