Durham police are warning of a “significant increase” in fraud incidents targeting local residents.

According to the Financial Crimes Unit, these have been targeting people of all ages, but primarily seniors.

Scams include:

  • People asking for money and gift cards to help out “injured or sick” family members.
  • Calls and emails claiming there are “outstanding warrants for your arrest” and asking for payment.
  • People claiming to be from the Canada Border Services Agency or Service Canada, saying a package addressed to you was found with illegal substances inside, or that illegal activity has been linked to your SIN card.
  • Romantic relationships with online strangers who go on to ask for money.
  • Fake loans granted to people experiencing financial hardships. Those “approved” are asked to pay administrative fees and the loan is never received.

Police are asking retail staff to keep an eye out this holiday season for people buying large quantities of gift cards. While they may simply be buying cards for relatives, they may also be the victim of a scam.

You can print off this poster and post it in your business to keep people alert of the dangers of fraud.

You’re also asked to never provide personal information over the phone, or send money to strangers.

If you’ve been the victim of a fraud, call police at 905-579-1520.

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