The Peterborough Police Service is warning residents about a new scam circulating in our area after a local resident was defrauded of more than $13,000.
On March 7, 2018 the victim, a woman in her 80’s, received a phone call from a man who claimed he was from her bank and that there was $4,600 missing from her account. The man went on to say that the bank was conducting an internal investigation as they believed it was an employee stealing money.
In an attempt to catch the “thief” the man told the woman to go to her bank and withdraw $4,600 from her account. She was cautioned not to mention to the teller or anyone else at the bank why she was taking out the money because he didn’t want the internal investigation to be ruined. The man assured her the withdrawal wouldn’t show up on her account as it was for the purpose of the investigation.
The man then told the woman to bring the money to a restaurant parking lot where a “bank auditor” would approach her and take the money.
The victim went to her bank, withdrew the money and attended the parking lot where an unknown male met her stating he was the investigator from the bank.
After handing over the cash the woman returned to her home. Shortly after she received a second phone call from the initial male stating they were close to solving the “theft” but needed her to go back to the bank and take out an additional $4,200, bring the money with her to the same parking lot and hand over the money to a “bank officer”. He reassured the victim that the money would be put back in her account after the investigation was completed.
The women went back to the same bank, withdrew the $4,200 and attended the parking lot where she handed over the cash.
After returning home she then received a third phone call from the male stating they were really close to solving the investigation and that one more transaction needed to be made. The woman followed the man’s instructions and this time attended a different bank withdrawing $4,800 and attended a different parking lot where the money was handed over.
The victim returned home and received a fourth phone call from the male asking her to go back to the bank the following day to withdraw more money. After receiving the last phone call the victim became suspicious and contacted one of her bank branches where the bank manager told her that this was in fact a fraud.
The total amount of money withdrawn and given to the unknown male is $13,600.
The victim did not see a vehicle associated to the male. The description of the suspect is as follows:
- Medium build
- Grey hair
- Clean shaven
- Professional looking
- Approximately 50 years old
We remind citizens of the following:
If you receive a phone call requesting cash, personal or banking information don’t take immediate action. Always check with a trusted friend or relative to get a second opinion on whether the caller’s request makes sense.
Secrets aren’t safe – If you receive a request from a stranger asking you to keep something secret, warning bells should be going off. Again, call a trusted friend or family member and run the scenario by them.
If the caller specifically tells you not to tell your bank about a transaction you must call your bank anyway.
We also urge employees at stores, businesses and local banks to have a conversation with their customers and clients and kindly question them if they see a client making a large purchase or withdrawal.
From the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre:
If you suspect that someone you know has fallen prey to a deceptive telemarketer or scammer, don’t criticize them for being naïve. Encourage that person to share their concerns with you about unsolicited calls or any new business or charitable dealings. Assure them that it is not rude to hang up on suspicious calls. Keep in mind that criminal telemarketers are relentless in hounding people – some victims report receiving 5 or more calls a day, wearing down their resistance. And, once a person has succumbed to this ruthless fraud, their name and number will likely go on a “sucker list”, which is sold from one crook to another.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Peterborough Police Service at 705-876-1122 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS
To report a fraud please contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre toll free at 1-888-495-8501. If you have been a victim of fraud, meaning you have provided personal information/banking information or lost money to a scam, please contact the Peterborough Police Service at 705-876-1122 or report a non-emergency crime