In light of recent alleged phone scams being undertaken in the Timmins area, the Timmins Police Service is issuing a fraud advisory so that citizens will be less likely to become victims of crime.
There are relatively simple measures that anyone can implement to avoid becoming a victim or phone or internet fraud.
Firstly, be on your guard. If you are not the one who initiated the phone call or email, be mindful that, no matter how enticing an offer might be, it could be a form of fraud. Scammers often pretend to be someone you can trust, holding themselves out to be bank officials or a family friend or a charitable organization. or a company that you have done business with in the past. These fraudsters are quite polished and well informed. Do not send money or provide your personal information in response to any phone or internet communication that you yourself did not initiate.
Secondly, complete your due diligence before making purchases by checking on the company or product name into a search engine with keywords like “review,” “complaint” or “scam” to make sure they are legitimate.
Be wary that scammers are technologically proficient. Do not necessarily believe your caller ID feature as it may be subject to tampering. Advanced technology makes it easy for scammers to fake caller ID information, so the name and number that appears may not always be legitimate. If someone calls asking for money or personal information, simply hang up. If you think the caller might be telling the truth, contact them by calling back by using a number that you know is genuine.
Also, don’t be pressured and avoid enticements. Under no circumstances should you pay upfront on a promise. This practice is typically a dead giveaway of fraudulent behavior. Quite often scammers will congratulate you on having won a prize, but you must first pay taxes, duties, or administration fees. Any funds provided under this premise is at risk of disappearing.
Be mindful of your payment methods. Most credit cards have built-in fraud protection to benefit the consumer, but most other payment methods, such as wiring funds, do not. Legitimate businesses and honest companies do not require you to use these payment methods.
Feeling uneasy or unsure. Talk to someone you trust before you proceed and provide your funds or personal information. Scammers are depending on you to make financial decisions in a hurry. They have been known to go as far as to threaten people over the phone. Slow down, check on the details and consult a trusted source of information.
Remember the power to halt phone scams is in your hand. Hang up the moment you feel uneasy or uncertain. Always be skeptical… it pays off.
Always review your monthly statements for charges you don’t recognize and report them immediately.
For further details, please consult the following websites to be safe and fraud savvy.