(PEMBROKE, ON) – The Upper Ottawa Valley Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) would like to warn residents of scams that have recently surfaced in the area. In one scenario the scammer calls and pretends to be from a local business and falsely tells the victim that their credit card did not work when used to pay for recent purchases. The victim may not have even used their credit card to shop at the store but the scammer creates a sense of urgency and then asks for the caller to confirm their credit card number to make payment. The OPP would like to remind everyone to verify the legitimacy of any caller before providing any personal information over the phone.

Residents should also be wary of phone calls from scammers posing as police, Revenue Canada, or government officials demanding payment, for a variety of reasons, by way of Google Play cards, gift cards, or cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin.

In an effort to reduce victimization consumers need to be aware of these scams and retailers should keep the scam in mind when faced with consumers interested in purchasing large quantities of gift cards.

A Social Insurance Number (SIN) scam is also circulating where fraudsters call and say that your SIN has been blocked, compromised by criminals or suspended. Fraudsters are pretending to be calling from government agencies such as: Service Canada, the RCMP, or various courthouses and are displaying the phone number of these agencies on your caller ID.

Consumers who receive this call are asked to provide their SIN and other personal information (DOB, name, address, etc.). Victims who provide their personal information to fraudsters are at risk of identity fraud.

If a scam artist contacts you or if you have been defrauded contact your local police service or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or visit their website at www.antifraudcentre.ca