ONTARIO PROVINCIAL POLICE
Crime Prevention Week 2019: Preventing Crime, Protecting People is taking place Nov. 4 -10, 2019. During Crime Prevention Week, Ontario Provincial Police Auxiliary Units across the province will be focusing on raising awareness about the romance and extortion scams in hopes of preventing Canadians from falling victim to fraud.
On the evening of Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, the Collingwood/The Blue Mountains OPP Auxiliary members will be conducting another Lock it or Lose it initiative however this time they will be distributing fraud prevention leaflets. Those handouts will contain information related to the romance and extortion scams including tips on how to recognize the signs of such a fraud.
Regardless of age, gender or location, everyone can take basic steps to better protect themselves from becoming a victim of fraud. The OPP, the Serious Fraud Office and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre have some tips to help you avoid becoming a victim of fraud.
- Don’t give out any personal information in an email or when you are chatting online. Educate yourself. Check the person’s name, employment information and the addresses used.
- Ask yourself – ‘Would someone I have never met really declare their love for me after only a few letters or emails?’ The answer should be no.
- Never send money, or give personal credit card or online account details to anyone you do not know and trust. A request to send money to a foreign country to someone you have never personally met should be a ‘red flag’ — no matter how convincing they are.
- Do not send intimate photos to anyone online as they could be used for blackmail.
- If you suspect a loved one is being victimized, talk to them about the warning signs.
- Beware of pop-up messages or a banner with a ransom request and unsolicited emails demanding personal information or immediate payment.
- Be wary of free downloads and website access, such as music, games, movies and adult sites. They may install harmful programs without you knowing.
- Deny any requests to perform an illicit act over the internet.
- Disable your webcam or any other camera connected to the internet when you are not using it. Hackers are able to obtain remote access and view/record your activity.
Carefully consider who you are sharing explicit videos and photographs with.
If you or someone you know suspect they’ve been a victim of a scam, contact your local police service. You can also file a complaint through the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), or online at www.p3tips.com.