Investigators from the Peel Regional Police Fraud Bureau would like to warn the public of the ongoing and common fraud schemes affecting communities on a regular basis.
The following themes continue to be utilized by fraud offenders and are aimed at the general public on a persistent and impactful basis:
Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), police or bank employee, emergency scam
This type of scam involves the suspect calling a victim and pretending to be the CRA or the police warning of an arrest if payment is not received or, alternatively, a bank employee requesting assistance to solve an internal fraud or to “fix” an account problem. Another variation includes the caller pretending to be the lawyer of a relative of the victim who has caused a serious car accident and is subsequently in jail and requires bail money.
In the above scenarios, the suspect directs the victim to deposit cash into a Bitcoin ABM or to purchase large amounts of gift cards and directs the victim to provide the numerical information on the card over the telephone.
Rental accommodation frauds
Members of the public in search of rental accommodation via buy and sell websites begin corresponding with unknown individuals posing as landlords. The “landlord” requests a deposit in order to “hold” the rental property and the victim complies by sending an Interac e-transfer as directed by the suspect. As it turns out, the purported rental property does not exist or was not for rent.
Company invoice/paycheque redirect
The victim company receives an email from an individual pretending to be a known customer or employee requesting that funds be paid to a new bank account in relation to an invoice or employee paycheque. The email address utilized by the suspect is slightly different than the authentic email address and this goes undetected by the victim company. In some instances, very large sums of money are sent to the “new”, but fraudulent bank account.
Members of the public utilizing online services to obtain employment engage in communication with a person they believe to be their new employer. The victim receives a cheque in the mail and is directed to deposit the cheque into their account and then send money via a Bitcoin ABM or to an account via Interac e-transfer. The victim is held accountable for the money sent to the unknown suspect when the bank determines that the initial cheque deposit was fraudulent.
Investigators would like to remind the public of the following:
• Never send Interac e-transfers prior to receiving a service, product or securing rental accommodation unless dealing with a reputable online service that provides a loss protection guarantee.
• Never deposit a cheque from an unknown source into your personal bank account and then transfer or cash the deposit.
• Never send money via a Bitcoin ABM if directed to do so by a company or person you don’t know or trust.
• Never send cash in the mail or by courier to any person or company you don’t know or trust. -CINEWS