Ajax residents received some expert advice Thursday night on simple steps they can take to protect themselves from fraudsters and identity thieves.
Sgt. Pat Waters and D/Cst. Tom Kollaard were special guests at a Neighbourhood Watch fraud information session, held at Michaelle Jean Public School in Ajax.
From aggressive sales people trying to sell you hot water tanks you don't need, to threatening phone calls pretending to be from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), the two seasoned fraud investigators advised residents to know their rights and to simply say "no!"
These scammers are targeting Durham Region residents every day. There are dozens of reported examples of the CRA scam and the perpetrators are getting more aggressive each week, even threatening to harm victims if they don't comply. Some seniors who have reported these calls to us are in tears because it was such a threatening and traumatic event for them.
Some of the best pieces of advice provided at this seminar included:
* Get three quotes from reputable businesses if you are about to undertake any major home improvement project, then check out the references provided by the bidders. No references - no contract!
* Shield your PIN number during every transaction with an electronic device, including at ATMs and gas stations
* When using a keypad device, look for signs of abuse or tampering, such as missing screws, loose face plates or broken safety seals on the back of swipe machines
* The CRA will not threaten you to pay back taxes, nor will they send in the police!
* Major power suppliers like Veridian, will NOT come to your door and demand money
* If someone says you've won a lottery or major prize, but they require a deposit to secure it, then it's a scam - hang up!
* Report fraud attempts to the police, even if you weren't victimized. Police analysts can enter the data and see trends, in support of police investigations
Pat and Tom Speak to the Group (JPG file, 401.6K bytes)
Sgt. Pat Waters and D/Cst. Tom Kollaard Answering Questions from Citizens (JPG file, 173.0K bytes)