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Wednesday, March 15, 2017
News Release - Winnipeg Police Service
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Be Aware & Avoid Being Victimized - March Is Fraud Prevention Month
As part of Fraud Prevention Month, the Winnipeg Police Service has released a new video to raise awareness about a common fraud that affects thousands of Canadians each year the so-called Mystery Shopper scam.
Mystery Shopper scams can cost a victim thousands of dollars: a person is offered a job online or over text. The victim's "job" is to deposit a cheque, then forward most of the funds through an electronic money transfer service, keeping a commission, all under the guise of rating the customer relations of that service. However, the deposited cheque is either counterfeit or stolen, and it eventually bounces. By that time the "employee" has already forwarded the money, and won't get it back.
Preventing fraud takes an awareness to recognize when an offering is false, in knowing how to protect your personal information, and in how to prevent yourself from falling to pressure tactics from con artists.
March is Fraud Prevention Month, and in conjunction with other community agencies, the Winnipeg Police Service has been participating in events to help educate citizens on how they can protect themselves from fraud. More events are upcoming, including:
Twitter conversation - March 23rd, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., #WPSFraudSquad, you can even submit your questions in advance this year via twitter @wpgpolice
Fourth annual "Shred It" Event - Friday, March 31st, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at St. Vital Centre parking lot outside Silver City. A maximum of two bags or boxes per person to this FREE event please.
The Winnipeg Police Service would like to remind citizens of the following:
- Never send money to anyone you only know from an unsolicited phone call or email - Avoid providing sensitive personal information online or over the phone in situations you did not initiate - Research any request for money before making a commitment - Find a "Fraud Buddy" someone whose advice you respect and run any request for money by them before you commit to it. - Never feel pressured to make a quick decision, and - If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
In 2016, more than 1000 Canadians reported having been the victim of a job scam, amounting to about $6 million in losses. However, it's suspected that only about 5% of people report being a victim of the crime.
If you, or someone you know, is involved in a potential scam, contact the Winnipeg Police Service to make a report. The public can also call the Financial Crime Unit at 204-986-6231 for assistance and advice, or go to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website at http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/index-eng.htm
For further information contact either: Constable Jason Michalyshen, Public Information Officer Constable Rob Carver, Public Information Officer Kelly Dehn, Manager of Public Affairs