Scammers will tell you a family member is in jail, Mississauga and Brampton residents warned

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Published March 3, 2023 at 9:03 am

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.

From Peel Regional Police, the message to residents is a direct one.

“Hang up the phone,” Peel police are advising Mississauga and Brampton residents who receive such calls from scammers. “Don’t fall victim to an emergency scam. They are meant to cause upset and fear, preventing you from using logic. They may pretend to be an officer and accuse you of not paying taxes or that a family member has been arrested and that a fee must be paid.”

Peel police also took to social media earlier this week to alert residents to yet another scam that attempts to prey upon unsuspecting victims.

Fraudsters will target people with ill-intentioned phone calls in which they pretend to be the police.

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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.

Earlier this 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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