An increase in fraud complaints prompted the Princeton RCMP Sgt. Rob Hughes will issue a warning regarding suspicious phone calls and emails.
“No one from another country wants to come here to have sex with you in exchange for gift cards,” Hughes told The Spotlight.
Such an incident is just one of the reports the local detachment has received recently, and numerous calls to the police concern gift card purchases.
In a district of around 5,600 inhabitants, the police now receive an average of one call per week.
Hughes said that if someone was contacted and asked to pay for goods, services or promises with gift cards, “It’s 100%, I guarantee, a scam.”
Anyone who replies “creates a flow of money that cannot be found for a criminal”.
Other recent scams have been launched in the community, including people contacted by “government agencies” threatening arrest warrants and demanding payment, and people called claiming that a grandchild is in prison and that money is needed for his release.
“The police will never phone you to ask you to transfer money for a bond. “
There is little that local authorities can do to help victims of scams, he added, as the programs are generally web-based and “international”.
He said people burned by crooks face serious consequences.
“It’s heartbreaking… People are losing their savings and for some people it’s $ 2,000 and for others $ 200,000.”
Anyone who has been asked to pay money under suspicious circumstances, or to purchase gift cards, should call the police before transferring funds, Hughes added.
“They forget this thing we’ve been taught since we were little… if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
Anyone who suspects that they have been the victim of fraud should call the Government’s Canadian Anti-Fraud Center at 1-888-495-8501.
According to this organization, the losses due to fraud so far this year in Canada are increasing. As of July 31, 2021, people had lost $ 130 million to fraud, compared to $ 106 million for the whole of the previous year.
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