Fraud Victim Speaks Out - Be Careful!

Source: Area OPP
Date: Sat Feb 9 03:58:58 MST 2019

(HURON COUNTY, ON) - An Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh resident would like to warn others about her close call with a scam where she nearly lost $13,000. The 55-year-old victim reported to Huron County Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) she nearly fell victim to an online scam that would've cost her over $13,000.

The victim received a direct message on a popular social media site from someone that was pretending to be her aunt. The scammer (aunt) stated she was going on holiday and would only be able to communicate with the victim through electronic means. The scammer then informed the victim that she had been the lucky recipient of a $100,000 USD cheque after she was placed on a list published by the United States Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA). Apparently she had qualified because of her spouse's disability. The scammer then instructed the victim to contact an agent with the CFDA to see if she also qualified for some cash.

The victim followed her "aunt's" advice and a friend request was made with the designated employee of the CFDA. As you might have guessed, the victim was informed she also was due $100,000 USD in compensation. In order to collect, the victim had to provide some personal information and was instructed to wire $1,000 to a person supposedly based in New Brunswick. The victim followed instructions and then she was instructed to provide 10% of her winnings to another individual to facilitate the transfer. The victim withdrew the cash and was prepared to send out $13,000 cash via a courier service however it was after-hours when she tried to make the transaction. This proved to be very fortunate for the victim as she ended up contacting her aunt directly. Upon speaking with her aunt it was quickly determined the whole story was a scam.

The victim then quickly contacted the post office and the original $1,000 money order was recalled and the payment was stopped prior to it being cashed.

This was a very close call; it very easily could've become a very significant financial setback for this victim. According to the United States Federal Service Desk, numerous other complaints have been received. They advise the CFDA does not use social media or direct phone calls to solicit, review or make awards.

People need to remember, if it sounds too good to be true it quite likely is. Never send money to people you do not know to redeem prizes, lottery winnings, grants, or any other type of compensation.

It's not always easy to spot a scam, and new ones are invented every day.

If you suspect that you may be a target of fraud, or if you have already sent funds, don't be embarrassed - you're not alone. If you want to report a fraud, or if you need more information, contact the Canadian Anti- Fraud Centre (CAFC) by calling 1-888-495-8501, reporting it online at the CAFC's Fraud Reporting System or by contacting your local police service.


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