The Sault Ste. Marie Police Service is warning citizens and businesses about new and often sophisticated scams that prey on vulnerable taxpayers, utility users, and consumers.
“Financial crimes and fraud are criminal activities that victimize individuals from all walks of life. During the past year, police across Ontario have become increasingly aware of very sophisticated, well-organized financial criminal activities that prey on people’s lack of understanding about their rights when it comes to their financial matters,” said Chief Robert Keetch. “If you feel uneasy about someone calling you or showing up at your door about your taxes or your utility bills, if you notice suspicious banking or on-line activities related to your financial assets, don’t be fooled. Call for assistance.”
Chief Keetch noted that individuals and businesses can call the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to confirm the authenticity of a CRA telephone number or report incidents of suspected fraud to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.
The Sault Ste. Marie Police Service is partnering with the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) to promote the OACP’s 2016 Crime Prevention Campaign. The campaign theme is “Know Who You’re Dealing With…”. A new crime prevention booklet detailing the types of crimes Ontarians should be aware of and what they can do to protect themselves, their families, and their businesses, is now available at http://www.oacp.on.ca/news-events/resource-documents/public-resource-docs.
It’s estimated that all types of financial crimes and fraud cost Canadians more than $10 billion each year. When it comes to mass marketing fraud, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre reported a total of 51,385 complaints between January and November of 2015, involving 13,717 victims. The total dollar value loss suffered by these victims was $61.3 million dollars. In 2014, the total dollar lost to these types of crimes was $75 million.