Last Thursday investigators from the Peel Regional Police’s Fraud Bureau warned the following are ongoing and common fraud schemes affecting Canadians:
Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Scam/Police or Bank Employee Scam/Emergency Scams
This type of fraud involves the suspect calling a victim and demanding money, claiming that the police will become involved if payment is not received. The perp can pretend to be the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), or a bank employee requesting assistance to solve an internal fraud or “fix” an account problem. Another variation is the caller pretending to be a lawyer of a relative of the victim who has caused a serious car accident and is subsequently in jail and requires bail money.
Rental Accommodation Frauds
Members of the public searching for rental accommodation via buy-and-sell websites begin corresponding with unknown individuals posing as landlords. The fake landlord then requests a deposit in order to “hold” the rental property, and the victim complies by sending an Interac e-transfer. Of course the rental property does not exist or was never actually offered for rent.
Company Invoice/Paycheque Redirect
In this scam the victim company receives an e-mail from an individual pretending to be a known customer or employee. The scammer requests that paycheques or invoice payments be deposited in a different account. The e-mail address given by the perpetrator is slightly different than the authentic e-mail address and which is why it can go undetected by the victim company. In some instances, very large sums of money are sent to the fraudulent bank account.
People who use online services to find a job get scammed in this one. They communicate with someone they believe to be their new employer. The victim receives a cheque in the mail and the suspect directs them to deposit the cheque into their account and then send money via a Bitcoin ABM or to another account via Interac e-transfer. The victim will be held accountable for the money sent to the unknown suspect when the bank determines that the cheque deposited was fraudulent.
Reminders to the Public:
The Peel Regional Police would like to remind the public of the following, in order to safeguard against these scams:
- Never send Interac e-transfers prior to receiving a service, products or securing a rental accommodation unless dealing with a reputable online service that provides a loss or protection guarantee.
- Never deposit a cheque from an unknown source into your personal bank account and then transfer or cash the deposit.
- Never send money via a Bitcoin ABM if directed to do so by a company or person you don’t know or trust.
- Never send cash in the mail or by courier to any person or company you don’t know or trust.
- If someone claims to be from the CRA or any other organization, hang up and then contact the organization by known phone numbers or websites to find out what’s really happening.
To learn more about these or other trends that currently affect Canadians, the Peel Regional Police invites you to visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
For more information, visit the Region of Peel Police.