Top 3 Fraud Scams to watch for
March 23, 2011, Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) . . . As part of Fraud Awareness Month, HRM Partners in Policing would like to remind the public of some of the common ways criminals use to deprive citizens of their money. The more elaborate schemes can involve numerous people, use fake internet sites and/or have sophisticated equipment. Others can be as simple as someone knocking on the door claiming to be collecting for a charity when, in fact, the money is going straight to their pocket.
The following have been identified by the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre as the top three scams:
The Service Scam is described as any false, deceptive or misleading promotion of services or solicitation for services. These scams typically involve third parties that make offers for telecommunications, internet, finance, medical and energy services. This category of scams may also include, but is not limited to, offers such as extended warranties, insurance and sales services.
Prize Scam / Prize Pitch
Consumers are told they have been specially selected to win a prize, or have been awarded one of three or two of five prizes. These prizes usually include cash or a vehicle. You must purchase a product and pay in advance to receive your prize. These products may include "coin collections,” personalized pen sets, etc. The products are generally cheap or overpriced, but may sound valuable over the phone. Remember, in a legitimate contest you do not have to purchase a product to qualify for a prize.
You may also encounter the "sweepstake’s scam.” After entering a fake sweepstake contest in the mail, you will receive a call within two to four weeks from a fraudulent telemarketer. This person will usually identify them as a lawyer, judge, customs agent or other official. They will represent themselves as an agent for a particular company. You will be told that you have won a large cash award, but money must be sent up front for taxes, etc.
Emergency or “Grandparent” Scam
In the typical scenario, a grandparent receives a phone call from a con-artist claiming to be one of his or her grandchildren. The caller goes on to say that they are in some kind of trouble and need money immediately. Typically they claim being in a car accident, trouble returning from a foreign country or they need bail money.
For more information, please visit http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca .
HRM Partners in Policing want to help people protect against the scams listed above and other fraudulent crimes. March is Fraud Awareness Month, and police want to encourage people to learn as much as they can about these and other types of fraud, because one of the best ways to protect against fraud is to learn how to recognize it.