The Niagara Regional Police Service wishes to warn members of the public against fraud involving people claiming to be bank representatives.
The scam works when victims receive phone calls from scammers posing as a representative of their bank informing the victim that there appears to be fraudulent activity on their account. The scammer then asks the victim to allow the scammer to access the victim’s computer to view their bank statements. If the victim grants remote access, the victim installs programs on the computer (Team Viewer and Ultra Viewer). The scammer then demands money from the victim in order to find the “suspect” who made purchases on the victim’s account. The scammer asks for the amount to be purchased via gift cards. The scammer then asks the victim to scratch the back of the gift cards and send the information on the back so that the funds can be used without having the card.
Always beware of anyone asking for gift cards, Bitcoin, or any other unusual payment or financial aid. Scammers are able to spoof emails and phone numbers so they can pretend to be someone the victim knows.
Here are some reminders to keep you safe:
- Never buy gift cards as a form of payment.
- If you get a phone call, email, or text asking you to buy gift cards, it is a scam.
- If you buy the gift cards and are told to scratch your back and send codes, it is a scam.
- Remember that crooks can ‘spoof’ the phone number on Caller ID, so it may appear that the caller is your financial institution, the Canada Revenue Agency, or your department. local police, when this is not the case.
- Talk to someone you trust before making any decisions about purchases of this nature. In most cases, once you tell your story to someone else, you’ll recognize that it doesn’t sound right. It can help you avoid being scammed.
- Remember why they are called gift cards – they are to be used as a gift for someone you love, not as a form of currency to pay for unpaid debts, taxes, utilities, or life expenses daily.
If you have been the victim of a scam and suffered financial loss, please call the Niagara Regional Police Service non-urgent number at 905-688-4111, dial option 2 and request sending to file a report.
If you have received any of these calls / messages but have not suffered any financial loss, please report it by calling Phonebusters at 1-888-495-8501 or by contacting the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center at 1-888-495- 8501 http: // www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/index-fra.htm
By browsing the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center website, you can learn about many of the current scams.