KENORA – Police are warning of a "dramatic increase" in residents falling victim to fraud in the Kenora area.
In a statement issued Friday, Ontario Provincial Police reported receiving multiple calls related to fraud attempts in the city.
"Police... would like to warn the public that any person requesting money or gift cards over the phone or internet is likely a scam," the force stated.
Residents can report any concerns to the Kenora OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
Residents can protect themselves using the following tips, OPP advised:
- Do not give money in order to collect a prize.
- Do not give out personal information, i.e. banking information or Social Insurance Number, date of birth
- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Be cautious if the caller asks for cash, gift cards or money order
- Do not get caught up in time constraints. If the caller tells you the offer is time sensitive and pressures you to make a decision, it is probably not a legitimate deal.
- If you receive a call for a charity, ask for and check the charity's registration number online or call the Canada Revenue Agency toll free at 1-800-495-8501. Also, be aware of anyone who thanks you for a pledge you haven't made.
- If you receive any e-mails falsely claiming to be from an established legitimate organization such as a financial institution, business or government agency. The e-mail may request or direct the consumer to visit a certain website to update or provide personal and/or financial information and passwords. It is really a malicious attempt to collect customer information for the purpose of committing frauds. Do not allow anyone to access your computer unless YOU contacted the company.