The Ontario Provincial Police is receiving many reports of financial scams targeting seniors and other vulnerable people across the province.
In this scam, individuals claiming to be investigators from one of Canada’s chartered banks convince victims to withdraw funds for use as evidence to assist with a bogus theft investigation involving bank personnel. After the money is withdrawn and handed to the phoney bank inspector, the victim is told to go home and wait for a call confirming the money has been re-deposited in their account. Unfortunately, that call never comes. In several recent cases, seniors have complied and were subsequently defrauded of thousands of dollars.
While Const. Chrystal Jones of the Lambton OPP said no reports in the area have yet to surface, she said warning those who are most vulnerable before any such instances occur is a good idea.
Jones advises people contacted by potential scammers to check with another family member or trusted friend to verify the information.
"Remember, neither your financial institution nor a police investigator will ever ask you to withdraw money from your account or assist with an undercover investigation," said Jones. "It is also vitally important that the incident be reported if it does occur, to allow police to investigate and charge the perpetrators."
If you suspect you or someone you know has been a victim of fraud, contact your local police service, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) and report the crime.