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Scams Continue

Broadcast time: 8:45 am Date: November 5, 2019

As part of ongoing efforts to educate the public regarding frauds (scams), the following information is being put forward.

Earlier this year an individual began a relationship over a social media platform with another person overseas.

As the relationship continued the person overseas made a plea for financial assistance due to the fact that the money was urgently needed to pay for legal trouble and a new passport since the old one was seized and now he couldn’t leave the country. The victim in this case forwarded over $20,000 to this person via a local bank to an account belonging to the scammer.

Unfortunately, this story continues and the suspect asks for even more money to help him through his financial woes. Again the victim transfers an even larger sum of money to a different local bank. It was later determined by the victim’s bank that she had been scammed out of tens of thousands of dollars.

The victim contacted the police recently but due to the fact that this matter has international connections the likelihood of identifying a suspect is extremely low.

This type of fraud can happen to any age group and obviously the suspect can be extremely convincing.

Please do not send anyone funds that you do not know directly or have never met, such as in a situation like this. Red flags should always arise when a stranger is asking for money in such a short amount of time and over the internet.

These scammers are targeting individuals who may be vulnerable to suggestion, fear, or sympathy. As hard as it may be to believe or understand people do fall victim to these schemes. We as a society need to talk to those around us and make them aware of these types of scams along with the many others that exist.

Things to keep in mind:

  1. If you are contacted via a social media platform, email, text, or phone for money for any reason from out of the blue, the likelihood that it is a scam is extremely high. Verify the source!
  2. If there is urgency for the payment being made due to the allegation of going to prison or there is an aspect of life or death. Verify the source!
  3. If the suspect directs you very specifically on how and where to pay the money. They may even ask for payment with gift cards.
  4. If the suspect is asking you for your information (date of birth, SIN, etc.,)

These are just a few of the main concerns. We ask the community to talk to family members, young and old, about these points. We here at the Sarnia Police Service and across the policing world realize that we cannot reach everyone with this message but with more and more people assisting us we can help a few more individuals.

Keep in mind that once the money is gone the likelihood of getting it back is extremely low so please be on guard.

Constable Giovanni Sottosanti

Media Officer

Tel: 519-344-8861 Ext 6168

Email: 168@police.sarnia.on.ca