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Brantford Police issue warning regarding potential scam

Brantford Police ServiceBrantford Police issue warning regarding potential scam

Brantford Police Service are issuing a warning to residents after receiving reports of a scam involving the following:

Fraudulent Offer of Tech Support

This type of fraud involves a claim by the scammer to offer remote tech support on a computer or electronic device by posing as a tech expert or, in some cases as a Digital Market or Social Media Manager for hire. These scammers have also promoted themselves to be a Facebook and Google ads expert.

The scammer convinces the victim to allow remote access to their computer, and then places malicious material on the computer. The scammers convince the victim that they were the ones to locate the malicious material and request payment for services for removal.

It is likely the scammer will increasingly upload malicious material to lend legitimacy to their claims, decreasing victims’ willingness to contact law enforcement.

Over the long-term, there is a chance that this remote access can be exploited, either consensually or through malware, to upload other materials to the victim’s computer followed with an attempt to blackmail the victim or increase other criminal activity.

The following safety tips should be considered when making purchases online for such services:

  • Never allow anyone to access your phone or computer thru a screen sharing application. A legitimate entity would never invade your privacy in this way. 
  • Be sure to verify the legitimacy of the seller
  • Make purchases from known legitimate companies.
  • Trust your instincts. If a deal seems too good to be true, it likely is.
  • When in doubt, consult police or someone you trust before sending funds.

The Brantford Police Service wish to remind residents of the importance of fraud education and protecting oneself from becoming a victim. Please see below for tips on how to protect yourself from fraud. We also encourage spreading the word to those, such as the elderly, who may be particularly vulnerable to these fraudsters and may be targets of these high-pressure scams.

  • Be mindful of advertisements for investments that promise higher than normal returns. “If it’s too good to be true, it most always is too good to be true.”
  • Be aware that social media account takeovers are becoming more and more common. Suspects will take over a social media account and post advertisements for their scams.  It will appear that your social media friends are making these posts and referring you to the investment. 
  • Be mindful when investing with or providing any personal information to a potential investment advisor. Do your research before investing. Ask for phone numbers and be sure you can contact these persons on these phone numbers. Confirm an address where the investor is based out of.  Ask for references. In all likelihood, if you ask a scammer for these things, they will either not be able to provide them or will provide excuses as to why they cannot provide them.
  • Never allow anyone to access your phone or computer thru a screen sharing application. A legitimate entity would never invade your privacy in this way.  
  • DO NOT provide personal information (e.g., Social Insurance Number, passport number, banking information or credit card numbers) over the phone unless you placed the call, and you know for certain who you are speaking to.
  • Accredited businesses and government agencies will never ask for payment using gift cards or bitcoin.
  • If you suspect it is a scam, it may be – just hang up. Conduct your own research to determine validity.
  • Never wire money based on a request made over the phone or in an email, especially overseas.
  • Resist the pressure to act quickly, if the offer is too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Consider adding your phone number to the National Do Not Call List: www.Innte-dncl.gc.ca/index-eng
  • Consult with someone you trust before agreeing to provide large sums of money to anyone.
  • DO NOT write down passwords and carry them with you.

If you have already sent funds and/or your personal information, contact the police and your financial institution immediately. If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud and reside in the City of Brantford, contact the Brantford Police Service at 519-756-7050. You can also report online at: https://www.brantfordpolice.ca/online-reporting

If you have not experienced a financial loss but have received a fraudulent call, such as the CRA scam, please report the incident by calling the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraud.ca/index-eng.htm

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