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Here are some common scams circulating in eastern Ontario

(Source: SGI Twitter page) (Source: SGI Twitter page)
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Over the last two months, Ontario Provincial Police received 20 fraud related calls in Bancroft alone and now police across the region are warning people to be on the lookout for scams.

Police say the scam related incidents have cost victims over $34,000 since Dec. 1 in Bancroft, Ont.

Here are some of the scams and frauds that have been happening in eastern Ontario that police want you to keep an eye for:

Emergency

OPP says you should resist the urge to act immediately when a supposed loved one reaches out asking for money and saying you’re the only one who they can trust to keep their secret. It is always better to verify the person’s identity, such as making phone calls to make sure the reported information are correct, OPP adds.

Gift cards

Police say that some fraudsters may ask you to pay for a service or item using the gift cards that you might have received from loved ones. OPP says gift cards are not credit cards and should not be used to make regular payments.

Counterfeit Merchandise

OPP says some ads on social media may offer too good to be true discounts on certain products.Police add those products could pose a risk on your health.

Online shopping, selling

Meanwhile, when you’re selling items on social media, some people may offer to pay more than the asked price. Police say in this case, it is recommended to verify that you have already received the payment before handing out the product.

While fraudsters also target anyone selling a vehicle online, police recommend the use of reputable websites at all times.

Fraudsters also pose as genuine sellers and post fake ads for items that do not even exist, OPP notes. Police recommend to take time to make sure the items you’re looking at are real. These items can range from an event ticket, a rental property, a vehicle or a puppy.

Crypto investments

OPP recommends to research before investing in cryptocurrency.

“Research the team behind the offering and analyze the feasibility of the project. Verify if the company is registered by using the National Registration Tool,” police said.

Romance scams

Scams can also take a romance turn and police want you to be careful. Some fraudesters may use an attractive fake identity on dating sites and send you love messages before asking you to send money.

“The fraudsters play on your emotions to get you to send them money for various, convincing reasons. Never send money to someone you have never met!” OPP said.

Cellphone and Internet Service Provider Scam

If you’re in the market for a new phone, police want you to buy it either from a store or from your provider.

How to protect yourself?

Ontario Provincial Police offer the following tips to protect yourself from scams:

• Know the market value of the product you are looking for.

• Locate and verify the sellers contact information (address, phone number, email) before you buy.

• Look for customer reviews and ratings from third-party sources.

• Use a payment method with fraud protection, such as your credit card.

• Pick-up items and provide the payment in person, whenever possible.

• Review all email information to make sure they are coming from a legitimate source.

• Never transfer funds in order to receive a payment for an item you're selling.

• Do your research and use reputable websites to purchase VIN reports.

• Do an online search to see if anyone has already reported the fraudulent buyer or seller.

• If you suspect you have been a victim of a scam, call the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre's online reporting system at 1-888-495-8501.

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