Beware Ponzi schemes and pyramid scams in Mississauga and Brampton: Police


Published March 6, 2023 at 9:05 am

Mississauga and Brampton residents are being warned again by police that if an investment opportunity seems too good to be true, it’s likely just that.

And in many cases, it will be a Ponzi scheme or pyramid scam that’s trying to lure would-be victims into an illegal web.

Such scams, which invite money/investments up front with promises of a relatively fast and huge payoff, have been around for many decades because, simply stated, they work.

As Canadian Fraud Prevention Month continues, Peel Regional Police took to social media over the weekend to alert residents to these types of scams.

“In a Ponzi or pyramid scam, an investor buys into a scheme offering higher-than-normal returns. The scammer then pays early investors with money from new investors. Investors believe their investment returns high profits, but the scheme will eventually collapse,” Peel cops posted to Twitter.

Though Ponzi schemes and pyramid scams are essentially the same, a Ponzi scheme generally only requires investment in something from its victims, with promised returns at a later pay date.

Pyramid schemes, meanwhile, usually offer a victim the opportunity to “make” money by recruiting more people into the scam.

Peel police also sounded the warning bells to another scam late last week.

Fraudsters seeking to trick people out of their money will tell would-be victims over the phone that a loved one is in jail or that they’re being targeted for not paying taxes.

Such “emergency scams” are among a number of popular frauds targeting people these days in Mississauga, Brampton and across Ontario, and Canada, police warn.

Peel police, law enforcement agencies across Ontario and Canada, and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) continually keep the public informed of the latest scams used by fraudsters.

This past Christmas, when scams are more prevalent each year, authorities made public 12 of the most popular holiday scams. Variations of the frauds are used throughout the year.

According to the CAFC, Canadians lost more than $530 million to fraud in 2022 and much of that could have been prevented if victims were more informed of the tactics used by scammers.

Last week, as Canadian Fraud Prevention Month kicked off, Peel police issued several notices via social media alerting people to the various scams out there and how they can educate and protect themselves.

One such fraud they specifically noted is known as the “grandparents scam” that’s on the rise across the GTA and targets seniors.

Seniors are contacted by phone by a fraudster passing themselves off as a grandchild of the would-be victim. They claim they’re in trouble and need money wired to them immediately.

Another recent scam targeting people in Mississauga, Brampton and across the country involves fraudsters using a fake Service Canada letter to get information and money from potential victims.

For more information on the various frauds/scams, visit Peel Regional Police or Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre websites.

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