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OPP News Release - Prize Scam Active in Elgin County

(ELGIN COUNTY, ON) - The Elgin County Ontario Provincial Police would like to remind the public that fraudsters are always actively recruiting victims. 

In a recent example of a prize scam, a person accepted the fact that they won over 4 million U.S. dollars from an unsolicited phone call. The person then paid the fraudster over $800 dollars in "taxes" for the winnings using a money wiring service. 

The fraudster continued to try and get more money from the person by sending a brief case with the "money" in it. This time the person had to pay for each number on the combination lock. If they forced the brief case open the "money" would be ruined by a dye pack.

Tere are many variations to the prize scam, but all have the same theme. They go after our hopes of winning big, you never signed up for what you "won", and you need to send money first. Often the money is paid by money transfer, pre-paid credit cards or gift cards to the fraudster.

We are currently in tax season and fraudster will often pretend to be Canada Revenue Agency agents. Normally they will be very aggressive stating you owe money and that police will be arresting you shortly if you don't pay up. Again this is an unsolicited call followed by a demand for money. 

Recognizing the signs of fraud will eliminate fraudsters from gaining any of your money. Here are some of the ways you can protect yourself from fraudsters:

  • Do not answer unsolicited phone calls
  • Delete text messages or emails from an unknown source
  • Visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center website at http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca and familiarize yourself with current fraud trends
  • Contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center to report any attempted fraud activity at 1-888-495-8501
  • Contact police using a non-emergency number before accepting any prize you didn't sign up for or sending money to an unknown person   

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Contact: Constable Adam Crewdson - Media Officer
Phone: 519-631-2920
Email: adam.crewdson@opp.ca


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