Fraudsters impersonating government officials and demanding bitcoin – Lake Superior News


Fraudsters are targeting the elderly again

KENORA, ONTARIO ~~~~~ August 3, 2022 (LSNews) Allison Lawrence, Acting Media Relations Coordinator, warns our readers that a senior has lost a significant amount of money after fraudsters claim she is being investigated for identity theft .

The scam started with a series of phone calls. The fraudsters claimed they were courthouse officials and needed money transferred from the victim’s bank accounts as part of the investigation.

Fraudsters said someone used his SIN to open bank accounts in his name. They asked the victim to put a verification number into Google and called repeatedly until the individual went to another community to deposit money into a bitcoin machine.

The harassing phone calls continued and the victim was asked to travel outside the community again to deposit more money – she refused. While making the second drop off in Kenora, the victim called 911 to report the incident.

Here’s what happened and what you should be aware of:

· The victim receives a phone call from someone claiming to work for a banking institution or a government agency. Government agencies do not use bitcoin machines

The scammer tells you that your bank accounts are at risk, or that you are under investigation and the money needs to be secured in a Bitcoin account

They provide you with an address to deposit funds into a bitcoin machine

The fraudster asks you to go to your banking institution to withdraw funds

· After that they ask you to buy prepaid gift cards and ask you to provide the gift card numbers or deposit the funds in a bitcoin machine

Often there will be a request not to tell anyone, to keep it a secret to avoid further trouble

How to protect yourself:

If something doesn’t seem right, hang up

Call your local police department and meet with an officer

· Make a follow-up call to the banking institution or government agency to confirm the information, doing some research first to confirm that you are calling the correct number, as caller IDs may be fake.

For more information on ongoing scams in Canada or to report fraud, visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center at http://antifraudcentre.ca/. If you believe you have been the victim of fraud, call Kenora OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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