The Terrebonne/Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines/Bois-des-Filion intermunicipal police department is informing the population that fraudsters targeting seniors are active in the region. According to the police, two system of defrauding are used.
The first scam is known as the “grandson fraud” or “grandparent fraud”. It has been around for a long time and basically consists of inventing a scenario from scratch to get a vulnerable person to quickly transfer funds. One of the most popular scenarios is to make the vulnerable person believe that one of his grandchildren is in trouble and needs money quickly (example: He was arrested by the police or he had a car accident). Most often, criminals operate by telephoning their victim and pretending to be a relative or a person in authority such as a police officer or a lawyer.
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The second scam is called “false representatives”. Fraudsters use an Internet application that allows the name of a credible banking institution to appear on the display of the telephone of the targeted person. The suspect then tells the person that he is the victim of fraud and that he must act quickly. Often they will be asked to place the bank cards in question as well as the personal identification numbers (PIN) in an envelope so that an employee of the institution can pick them up as quickly as possible. The victim is reassured by telling him that new cards will be sent to him.
In both cases, fraudsters push to get what is requested. In the hours that followed, people came to the victims to collect the money or the cards requested. Transactions are then carried out in the hours, or even the minutes that follow at merchants located near the card recovery address.
Here are some prevention tips:
Don’t give in to the pressure.
Remember that the police, persons in authority or recognized agencies do not use this practice.
Take the time to verify the identity of your interlocutor. Keep in mind that fraudsters use different means to obtain information about you or your loved ones.
Do not give out personal information (name, address, date of birth, social insurance number, credit card number and personal identification numbers [PIN]).
Never send or remit money to an unknown person.
Be alert: fraudsters are creative and convincing!
Before sending money, talk to someone you trust.
If you think your older relatives could be potential victims inform them!
Anyone who has been a victim or has information about this type of fraud is invited to contact the Service de police intermunicipal de Terrebonne/Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines/Bois-des-Filion, by calling 450 471- 4121. You can also report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center at 1-888-495-8501.