OPP tips to protect against fraud

The Killaloe Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police is sharing reminders about frauds and scams with community residents.

Emergency – Is a supposed loved one reaching out to you because they need money immediately and you’re the only one they trust to keep it a secret? Resist the urge to act immediately and verify the person’s identity by making the outgoing call you have listed for them in your contact list. 

Gift Cards – Gift cards are a popular and convenient way to give a gift. They should also be considered like cash; once they are exchanged, it is unlikely that you are getting your money back. Gift cards are not meant for payments and no legitimate business or organization will request these as payments, especially under pressure. 

Counterfeit Merchandise – Look out for huge and flashy discount ads on social media or in unsolicited emails that direct you to websites that look like legitimate manufacturers. If you do receive any inferior/counterfeit products, they could pose significant health risks. 

Selling Goods & Services Online – Be suspicious of customers offering to pay more than the asking price. When selling goods and services online, always confirm that you have received a legitimate payment before you send the product. Fraudsters will also target anyone selling a vehicle online. Make sure to use reputable websites if a vehicle history report is required. 

Crypto Investments – Scammers are using social media and fraudulent websites to promote fraudulent crypto investment opportunities. Prior to investing, always ask for information on the investment. Research the team behind the offering and analyze the feasibility of the project. Verify if the company is registered by using the National Registration Tool (www.aretheyregistered.ca). 

Romance Scams – An attractive fake identity lures you into a web of lies spun with loving messages and sweet promises. The fraudsters play on your emotions to get you to send them money for various, convincing reasons. Never send money to someone you have never met! 

Online Shopping – Fraudsters pose as genuine sellers and post fake ads for items that do not exist. The listing price for almost any item (e.g. event ticket, rental, vehicle, puppy) is usually too good to be true. Research before you buy.

Cellphone and Internet Service Provider Scam – If you are looking to purchase a new cellphone, don’t fall for an incoming call claiming to be from your service provider. Always find the official phone number for your service provider and make the call yourself. 

Protect yourself:

  • Know the market value of the product you are looking for.
  • Locate and verify the sellers contact information (address, phone number, email) before you buy.
  • Look for customer reviews and ratings from third-party sources.
  • Use a payment method with fraud protection (e.g. pay by credit card).
  • Whenever possible, pick-up items and provide the payment in person.
  • Review all email information to make sure they are coming from a legitimate source.
  • Never transfer funds (e.g. shipping company) in order to receive a payment for an item you’re selling.
  • Do your research and use reputable websites to purchase VIN reports.
  • Do an online search to see if anyone has already reported the fraudulent buyer or seller.

If you believe you have been the victim of a fraud or would be interested in information on safeguarding yourself, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-(888)-495-8501 or by visiting www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca

Yarmel,C.,OPP Killaloe Detachment(2024,Feb.1) KILLALOE OPP FRAUD TIPS – PROTECT YOURSELF [media release]

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