Barrie Police are reminding the public that no reputable agency will ever demand payment in gift cards, or Bitcoin, and that this is a common tactic used by fraudsters.

Police are aware of several scams that have been circulating recently where the victim is contacted regarding a problem with their financial accounts. The victim is given the option to purchase gift cards as either as payment or as a way of avoiding the attack on their accounts. The fraudsters may also ask for cash, even after gift cards or Bitcoins are provided.

One senior in Barrie was defrauded of a significant amount of money after being coerced into purchasing numerous beauty store gift cards at local grocery stores and providing photos of the cards to the scammer.

“Unfortunately, many fraud victims are seniors, and I encourage everyone to talk to their older relatives, and make them aware of these scams,” said Constable Keira Brooks, Crime Prevention Officer with the Barrie Police Service. “We are also working with local businesses to help their staff recognize signs of potential purchases supporting these scams, and how to address them.”

Cst. Brooks also reminds the public that if you receive a call telling you there is a problem with your account, or there is a warrant for your arrest, financial organizations and government agencies will never penalize you for hanging up on the caller, and reaching out to the organization through a trusted contact number to confirm the claims. Odds are, the claims are false, and you were a target for a scammer.

For a list of some of the common scams, visit: https://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/scams-fraudes/index-eng.htm

If you believe you have been a victim of fraud, report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre: (https://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/).

Prepared by: Corporate Communications Coordinator, Jennett Mays

 

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