Neighbourhood Watch Bulletin for 2021-10-03

Catching up on a few fraud related items:

  • Fraud Unit warning residents to be vigilant with suspicious phone calls.
  • Card skimming fraud involving a taxi.

If you’re interested in helping out, see our Neighbourhood Watch Page.

– Alex

—– Forwarded Message —–
Subject: Neighbourhood Watch Bulletin for September 9, 2021
Date: Thu, 9 Sep 2021 09:05:08 -0400
From: Darren Joseph <wellingtoncpc@gmail.com>

Contact Cst. Stephanie Lemieux directly (east of O-Train, Line2) at lemieuxs@ottawapolice.ca or 613-236-1222, ext. 5287.

Contact Cst. Darren Joseph directly (west of O-Train, Line 2) at josephd@ottawapolice.ca or 613-236-1222, ext. 5871.

*********************************

Fraud Unit warning residents to be vigilant with suspicious phone calls

The Ottawa Police Service Organized Fraud Unit is advising the public to be extra vigilant when receiving phone calls from persons identifying themselves as an employee of any Canadian Government Agency.

The caller, or sometimes a recording, tells the person that they owe money in taxes, that they are involved in money laundering, drug trafficking and that there is an arrest warrant issued in their name. Further, that if they do not pay up, an officer will come and arrest them.

Government Agencies will NOT ask for money over the phone, for credit card numbers or for prepaid cards as payment. They will not threaten to send an officer to your door to arrest you either.

Demands of payment are often asked to be made by way of deposits into a Bitcoin machine.  Bitcoin is a worldwide virtual currency and digital payment system. It is unregulated, untraceable, and therefore impossible to recover money lost.

Scams often originate outside of Canada despite a call display seeming local. Organized fraud scammers are skilled at covering their tracks and can disguise their contact numbers and computer Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. “For these reasons it is nearly impossible for police to resolve these complaints” said Sergeant Arsenault of the Organized Fraud Unit, “prevention is key”.

Sergeant Arsenault suggests these safety tips:

  • Don’t give personal or financial information out over the phone or via the computer to unknown sources;
  • Ask the caller for their name, phone number and the company they work for so you can verify their identity;
  • Speak to a trusted friend or family member to get a second opinion;
  • Familiarize yourself with common scams and how they work;
  • For more tips, Click here.

Reports of Fraud can be made by calling the Ottawa Police Service at 613-236-1222, ext. 7300 or online.


Subject: Neighbourhood Watch Bulletin for September 25, 2021
Date: Sat, 25 Sep 2021 09:57:14 -0400
From: Darren Joseph <wellingtoncpc@gmail.com>

Card skimming fraud involving a taxi

The Ottawa Police Service Organized Fraud Unit is advising the public to be extra vigilant when being asked to pay for a service with a credit or bank card in exchange of money.

Since September 21st, 2021, the Ottawa Police Service has received several complaints concerning people being defrauded after affording assistance in paying with their personal credit or bank card for a taxi fare.

In all incidents, a suspect approaches the victim in a shopping or strip mall parking lot asking them to pay for their cab fare explaining that the driver does not accept cash because of COVID regulations, and only takes credit or debit.

If the victim accepts, he is then brought to the nearby taxicab to complete the transaction using their own credit/debit card.  The suspect then pays the victim with cash for the transaction.

In completing the transaction, the driver switches the victim’s credit/debit card for a false one and the Personal Identification number (PIN) is obtained surreptitiously. The victim’s card is then used to complete fraudulent transactions.  In all reported incidents, a fake BlueLine taxi vehicle was utilized.

The Organized Fraud Unit investigation has confirmed that a BlueLine sign (marquee) and licence plate are being used fraudulently.

The Fraud Unit provides these safety tips:

  • Don’t accept to pay with your debit or credit card for someone else’s transaction even if you are offered monetary compensation, equivalent or superior to the original transaction amount.
  • When making purchases, protect your PIN.
  • Do not share your PIN with anyone.
  • Choose a PIN that is not easy to guess – avoid birthdays and phone numbers, etc.
  • Keep a close watch on your incoming bank and credit card statements.
  • For more tips, click here.

Reports of Fraud can be made by calling the Ottawa Police Service at 613-236-1222, ext. 7300 or online.

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