The main means of communication that fraudsters use to target the public are: web-sites, emails, telemarketing and regular mail.
Fraudsters take advantage of modern communication tools to avoid any "face to face" contact with victims. Fraudsters use fictitious names, addresses and identities to avoid apprehension by law enforcement. Often fraudsters register phone numbers, websites and email accounts with fictitious information. Victims are asked to send money using money transfer services to another jurisdiction or country.
Consumers are reminded to be diligent and cautious when engaging in financial transactions not in person. Some of the below tips may be helpful in preventing this type of fraud:
• Never use verification information provided by the other party engaged in the financial transaction. The address provided by the other party may be false and the phone number may be registered to a fictitious name. Many scammers use toll free phone numbers to add to the appearance of legitimacy. They use mail box addresses that appear to be suites in well known financial districts.
• Consider your recourse. What would you do if the transaction goes bad? How would you recover your money? If you have sent money outside your jurisdiction you may not have any practical recourse to recover your money. If you have sent money outside your country there may not be any legal recourse to recover your money. Remember, once the money leaves Canada it is now outside the laws of Canada.
• Conduct independent research prior to engaging in the transaction. Have you searched the names and addresses on the internet for reports or complaints many against the company or person.
• If you are using a bank, money transfer service or e-commerce service for payment contact them directly. Never use email links provided by the other party engaged in the transaction.
If you have had a recent experience with an attempted fraud scam and you would like to provide information about the scam to the WPS, please send and email to firstname.lastname@example.org
PLEASE NOTE :Email is not used for reporting crimes. Email to this mailbox is for information purposes and is not a police report. You will receive a confirmation of receipt email. You will not be contacted by the WPS unless investigators would like additional information. If you do not wish to be contacted by police, please indicate this in your email.
If you have been the victim of a fraud, or if you would like to file a police report regarding an incident please call the police non emergency number (519) 258-6111 or attend WPS Headquarters main office located at 150 Goyeau Street. If you wish to speak with a member of the WPS Financial Crimes Unit call (519) 255 6700 ext. 4330.