OPP issue warning as fraud victims lose roughly $600K

Senior woman giving credit card details on the phone. © Can Stock Photo / daisydaisy

Provincial police are urging residents to be “fraud aware” after four victims were defrauded out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Lambton OPP Cst. Jamie Bydeley said the victims lost a combined total of approximately $600,000.

“Various people were contacted either by telephone or by email from unknown sources,” he said. “Apparently these sources seemed fairly convincing and now the victims are out large sums of money.”

Some of the usual tactics used by fraudsters include claiming to be an official business, claiming to be a loved one in need of help, and claiming there’s a warrant for the victim’s arrest.

Bydeley said another tactic often used involves the claim of money being held at customs.

“The victims are often prompted to pay an import fee or tax on it and then this large sum of money would be released to them.”

These types of scams typically target elderly residents, which is why Bydeley is asking people to inform others in their life who may fall victim to scams.

“Lambton OPP, the OPP in general, want to make sure that people are talking with the elderly folks in their life, their loved ones, making sure that they’re aware of these scams and maybe to have a plan in place,” he said.

Some plans to pass along to elderly residents include talking to a loved one, their bank, or local police service just to make sure they’re not being defrauded.

-With files from Josh Boyce