Old-school mail fraud still happens in Canada, police warn

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Published March 15, 2024 at 2:22 pm

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If you still get paper mail, you may want to watch for an old-school mail scam that still happens in Canada.

Peel Regional Police reposted a warning from the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre today (March 15).

“Although mail fraud is not as prominent as it was years ago, we continue to receive reports of fraudulent letters claiming the recipient has won a big prize or is entitled to an inheritance,” the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre said on social media.

Mail fraud has decreased substantially over the last 20 years, the centre said, but it can be a concern.

Common make frauds include fake inheritance letters claiming that you are entitled to a large sum of money because a distant relative has died; or fraudulent prize letters claiming you’ve won the “big prize.” Once you call the phone number in the letter, fraudsters will ask for payments to cover fees or insurance.

The centre shared a letter found circulating recently.

“Our records indicate that you are one of the lucky winners chosen by the Publishers Clearing House,” the letter begins.

It then tells the recipient that they have won $2.2 million. The letter instructs the person to contact a “claim agent” within 72 hours.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre advises people to be wary of letters claiming you’ve won a free prize.

Know that you are not required to pay upfront fees to collect winnings, the centre says.

Learn more tips and tricks for protecting yourself here.

If you suspect you’ve been the victim of cybercrime or fraud, report it to your local police and to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre‘s online reporting system or by phone at 1-888-495-8501. Even if you are not a victim, you can report it to the centre anyway.

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