- Fraud Prevention Month.
- Word of warning about online buyers or sellers.
If you’re interested in helping out, see our Neighbourhood Watch Page.
—– Forwarded Message —–
Subject: Neighbourhood Watch Bulletin for March 2, 2022
Date: Wed, 2 Mar 2022 12:23:08 -0500
From: Darren Joseph <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Contact Cst. Darren Joseph directly (west of O-Train Line 2) at email@example.com or 613-236-1222, ext. 5871.
Contact Cst. Stephanie Lemieux directly (east of O-Train Line 2) at firstname.lastname@example.org or 613-236-1222, ext. 5290.
Fraud Prevention Month
Each year, Canadians lose millions of dollars to fraud. Educating yourself on common scams is the easiest way to prevent becoming a victim of one.
“It’s hard to keep up with all the different kinds of scams,” says Sergeant Chantal Arsenault from the Ottawa Police Service Fraud Unit. “But there are steps you can take to protect yourself, regardless of which scenario would-be fraudsters are using.”
- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t fall for high pressure sales tactics that don’t allow you to think over a decision or that require you to provide personal, banking or credit card information before you have even accepted an offer. Any reputable company will put the offer in writing and give you time to think it over.
- Do your due diligence. Check companies with the Better Business Bureau, ask for references and visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre to find out about the latest scams and where they are active. Taking a little time is worth the effort if it avoids you becoming a victim of fraud.
- If you didn’t request a service, don’t accept unsolicited offers by phone, computer or at your doorstep. Always do your homework first to ensure you are dealing with a reputable company and get a contract with the scope of work being done, a timeline and the fees.
- No government agency or legitimate business will ask you to purchase gift cards or bitcoin in order to settle an account.
- Be careful where you share your personal information, particularly on social media. Over-sharing personal details can make it easier for fraudsters to make false credit applications in your name.
More about common scams and tips to help you protect yourself can be found online.
Word of warning about online buyers or sellers
The Ottawa Police Service Robbery Unit is warning the public to beware of their personal safety when buying or selling cell phones and electronics using various social media sites.
The Ottawa Police has received complaints from people selling electronic devices through social media sites who, when meeting a prospective buyer, are robbed. Some of the incidents have involved force.
“We’re reminding people to make safety their priority when arranging to meet someone to buy or sell items online,” says Sgt. Mark Kilby, an investigator with the Ottawa Police Robbery Unit. “There are things you can do to make these transactions safer.”
Sgt. Kilby suggests you bring a friend and meet in a public place such as a restaurant, sporting facility or the police station.
“Meet in daylight hours,” says Sgt. Kilby. “Last-minute changes to the meeting location should be considered a red flag and do not attend vacant properties or parking lots.”
He urges you to walk away from the deal rather than go to a secondary location. “If a meeting doesn’t feel right, that’s your gut telling you something is wrong. Trust it.”
For more personal safety tips, visit ottawapolice.ca (https://www.ottawapolice.ca/en/safety-and-crime-prevention/Personal-Safety.aspx)