Thursday May 30, 2019 – Peterborough woman scammed after purchasing $13,000 in Google Play gift cards

A 67-year-old Peterborough woman has been scammed out of $13,000 following a fraud involving Google Play Cards.

On May 1, 2019 the victim received a phone call from a male who identified himself as a bank employee.

The male told the victim that her bank account had been jeopardized and her funds frozen. The male told the victim that she would have to forward money to him in order to access her accounts.

The male instructed the victim to attend different local convenience stores and purchase Google Play gift cards then provide him with the identification numbers.

On May 1, 2019 the victim attended three different convenience stores in Peterborough purchasing $7,000 in the gift cards. On May 2, 2019 the victim was again contacted by the same male and instructed to purchase more gift cards. The victim attended three more convenience stores in Peterborough purchasing an additional $6,000 in Google play cards.

In total the victim was scammed out of $13,000.

The Peterborough Police Service reminds residents to use extreme caution when receiving a phone call, email or text from a person stating you owe money or that your accounts have been frozen and that paying in gift cards will resolve the issue.

We remind residents to always stop, pause and think before providing any personal or banking information to someone or providing the person with payment of any sort until their identity has been confirmed. When in doubt hang up, call your bank back specifically or call a trusted family member or friend and has them if the call makes sense.

Detective Constable Keith Calderwood, from the Fraud Unit, says anyone can fall victim to these scams. He cautions that anytime a person is asked to pay off a debt or access their bank accounts by using gift cards it’s a fraud.

To report a scam in which you have handed over money or personal information, please call the Peterborough Police Service at 705-876-1122 or report it online 

To report an unsuccessful scam phone call, please call the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre toll free at 1-888-495-8501 or visit their online fraud-reporting system