City police say two separate North Bay victims lost over $10,000 each on grant scams this month.
“Victims of this type of online fraud scheme generally have their email account hacked or a scammer creates a mirrored account of their social media to contact their friends list,” says a NBPS release.
“The scammer then refers the friends to an individual regarding their eligibility for various ‘grants’ and they are told that in order to obtain the grant they need to pay upfront ‘processing fees’ that can vary from $1,500-$40,000.”
Once the money is sent by the victim the scammers continue to fabricate additional fees until the victims realize they are being defrauded. These grant offers are completely fake and no grant is ever received.
In April the North Bay Police Service initiated several investigations related to online frauds in which victims suffered financial loss. Cheque cashing scams, on-line purchases, and people having their identity compromised to open credit card accounts are some of the ongoing investigations.
According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre in 2019 there were over 3,200 reports of fraud occurring over social media sites, includes dating sites, involving more than 2000 victims reporting $16.5 million in losses.
For more information about online scams go here.