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  DRPS Supports Provincial Crime Prevention Campaign.

Feb 04, 2016 11:33 ET

DRPS is partnering with the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) to promote the 2016 provincial Crime Prevention Campaign.

The theme of this year's campaign is "Know Who You're Dealing With." Citizens and local businesses are being warned about new and often sophisticated scams that take advantage of vulnerable taxpayers, utility users, and consumers.

During the past year, police across Ontario have noted an increase in sophisticated, well-organized financial criminal activities that prey on people's lack of understanding about their rights concerning financial matters. If you feel uneasy about someone calling you or showing up at your door about your taxes or your utility bills, or if you notice suspicious banking or on-line activities, make sure you report incidents of suspected fraud to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. If you think you have been a victim of a fraud please contact Durham Regional Police at 905-579-1520.

It's estimated that all types of financial crimes and fraud cost Canadians more than $10 billion each year. When it comes to mass marketing fraud, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre reported a total of 51,385 complaints between January and November of 2015, involving 13,717 victims. The total dollar value loss suffered by these victims was $61.3 million dollars. In 2014, the total dollar lost to these types of crimes was $75 million.

Individuals and businesses can also call the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to confirm the authenticity of a CRA telephone number.

A new crime prevention booklet detailing the types of crimes Ontarians should be aware of and what they can do to protect themselves, their families, and their businesses, is now available on the OACP Website.

Here is a list of some common scams:

Tax Frauds

  • The CRA has noted an increase in telephone scams where the caller claims to be from the CRA but is not. These calls are fraudulent and could result in identity and financial theft

  • The CRA takes these tax fraud schemes very seriously and actively warns Canadians about scams undertaken using the CRA's name, especially during the tax filing season, when such scams peak

  • If you want to confirm the authenticity of a CRA telephone number, or to find out more about fraudulent communications visit the CRA Website. or by phone at 1-800-959-828.

  • Electrical Utilities Scams

  • Ontario's electricity customers are targets for phone scammers. These scammers tell people that they are from the local utility and use sophisticated software to show the utility's name on a caller display. Scammers threaten to disconnect customers if they don't immediately pay by pre-paid credit card or wire transfer.

  • Scammers target people when they are most vulnerable, especially during holidays or peak business times. Since July 2014, more than 500 people were targeted in Toronto alone. A total of thirteen per cent of those incidents involved payments totaling $58,000. Local utilities NEVER ask customers to pay by pre-paid credit card or wire transfers over the phone. Local utilities NEVER threaten to disconnect you right away.

  • When in doubt, call your utility company and ask about their policy. If someone calls and threatens to disconnect you if you don't make a payment right away by pre-paid credit card or wire transfer, SAY NO and HANG UP! NEVER give out your personal or financial information.

  • Identity Theft

  • The theft of identity information such as "tombstone" data, employment information, banking particulars, and payment card data have become a highly saleable commodity that is easily trafficked via traditional means and through hundreds of websites on the "dark web."

  • Identity information is obtained via Server/Computer Hacks, ATM/POS tampering, Phishing, Social Engineering, Complicit Government/Corporate Employees, Theft of Mail, and a host of other means. Once obtained, "Pirate" websites available on the dark web provide nearly unlimited access to such data to all takers. Payment for the identity information is easily made via non-traditional, unregulated, online payment systems that offer participants the ability to traffic or purchase identity information for eventual exploitation. Typical offences include: Account take-overs, true-name fraudulent credit applications, TM/POS tampering, and trafficking in identity information.

  • Below are attached files.
    OACP Crime Prevention (JPG file, 215.3K bytes)