March is Anti-Fraud Month; Be vigilant, suspicious

Incident Date
Wednesday, March 6, 2019 - 10:15
Location
Thunder Bay
Date Published: 2019-03-06

The Thunder Bay Police Service would like to remind the public to be vigilant and suspicious when they receive unexpected phone calls from financial institutions.

A recent incident being investigated by police involved a victim receiving an automated call purporting to be from a bank. The automated message warned of a compromised account and instructed the victim to call back.

The victim, believing they dialed a legitimate bank phone number, was put in touch with a person fraudulently claiming to be an employee of that financial institution.

The victim was provided with a website and instructed to input Google Play gift card pin numbers into it to pay back alleged fraudulent transactions. The website looked similar to the one used by the victim for online banking.

The victim did as instructed, but when prompted for further payments she became suspicious. This suspicion prompted the victim to go in-person to her bank branch and discuss the alleged fraudulent payments she was asked to pay for.

The bank was able to confirm the status of the victim’s account and informed her she was the target of a scam. While the victim was defrauded of funds, her suspicion saved her from being scammed out of more money.

Please remember that when you are contacted by a financial institution, the Canadian Revenue Agency, or any other organization requesting money, you have the right to hang up. Contact the institution directly and not with any contact information you have been provided by the suspected fraudster.

The elderly, recent immigrants, international students and anyone new to online banking are especially susceptible to these kinds of scams. Police would like to encourage citizens to talk about these scams with any friends or family who might be at risk of being trapped by these fraudsters.

March is Fraud Prevention Month. For more information about these and other scams please visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online at: http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca

 

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