Service scams target victims by trying to convince them that they owe outstanding balances for a utility or service provider, or that they are owed a refund.
The caller may claim that the victim’s hydro, or internet service will be cut off immediately if payment is not received. Many times they will demand payment in bitcoin or another crypto currency, or through the purchase of gift cards.
Investigators remind everyone that if you receive a call claiming you owe money, to contact your utility or other service provider directly at their known number, which can usually be found on your most recent bill. Never pay any utility company with Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, as this isn’t a common practice.
Another common scam is to text or call the victim, claiming that they are owed a refund from a tax return, or an overpayment for a service provider. As with other common scams, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t true.
March is Fraud Prevention Month and throughout the month we’ll be sharing Fraud Alerts and additional information on how to recognize, reject and report fraud. Visit www.BarriePolice.ca/Fraud-Prevention for more information.