Prince Edward OPP are reminding the public to remain vigilant and always think twice before depositing large amounts of money into strange bank accounts after a member of the community was defrauded of $6,000 last week.
Community Safety Officer Constable Karen German confirmed the ‘bail money/legal fees’ scam ensnared another victim on a growing list of people who have fallen prey to the fraudulent scheme.
On July 31, 2019 just after 5:00 p.m. Constables started a fraud investigation at a Wellington address after a female resident on Harbourview Court received a frantic phone call from a male whom she believed was her son.
The person told the woman he was in jail as he had been involved in a serious motor vehicle collision. The call was then turned over to another male who claimed to be a lawyer. He told the victim that she must immediately send funds in order for her son to be released.
German said the woman was instructed to attend to her bank and withdraw $6,000 and then deposit the money into another account to facilitate the release. The victim withdrew the money and sent it as directed. Later, the victim made contact with her son who indicated he was not in trouble and they contacted OPP to report the scam.
“If anyone should receive a call in this manner, please contact your immediate family and inquire if anyone is in need of assistance. These types of calls play on a person’s emotions and create a sense of urgency which then creates distress to the recipient. Keep calm and do not forward any funds without speaking to family members first,” German said.
The OPP are reminding Prince Edward County residents to be extremely vigilant and to be alert for unsolicited calls, emails, faxes or visitors that arrive at your residence.
Modern, tech savvy, scammers have personal information about victims long before they ever try to contact them. It is imperative for the public to verify any unsolicited contact before they respond and provide information. The public is asked to keep their guard up when they receive a surprise call from anyone soliciting funds in regards to a loved one is in jail or have been involved in a serious incident.
“You work hard for you money, so work hard to protect it. Do not hand it over to a smooth talking con artist. Fraud is a multi-billion dollar per year business that will only stop when the con artists stop making money,” German added.
Anyone with information regarding this incident should immediately contact the Ontario Provincial Police at 1 – 888 – 310 – 1122. Should you wish to remain anonymous, you may call Crime Stoppers at 1 – 800 – 222 – 8477 (TIPS) or leave an anonymous online message at firstname.lastname@example.org where you may be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $2,000 or go to www.crimestoppersquinte.ca