Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Public Advisory from City of Winnipeg Police- March is Fraud Awareness Month!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Be Aware & Avoid Being Victimized - March Is Fraud Awareness Month
March is Fraud Awareness Month, and in conjunction with other agencies from the community, the Winnipeg Police Service will be participating in events to help educate citizens on how they can protect themselves from fraud.

These events include:

  • National Twitter event – March 8th, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., 2 Good 2 B True Day  at #2G2BT hosted by the Competition Bureau at @CompBureau
  • Twitter conversation - March 22th, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., #WPSFraudSquad, you can even submit your questions in advance this year via twitter @wpgpolice
  • Third annual “Shred It” Event - March 24th, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at St. Vital Mall parking lot outside Silver City.  A maximum of two bags or boxes per person to this FREE event please.
Preventing fraud takes an awareness to recognize when an offering is false, in knowing how to protect your personal information, and in how to prevent yourself from falling to pressure tactics from con artists. These events are designed to provide education and reduce losses to involving fraud.

The Winnipeg Police Service would like to remind citizens of the following:

  • Never send money to anyone you only know from an unsolicited phone call or email
  • Avoid providing sensitive personal information online or over the phone in situations you did not initiate
  • Research any request for money before making a commitment
  • Find a “Fraud Buddy” – someone whose advice you respect – and run any request for money by them before you commit to it.
  • Never feel pressured to make a quick decision, and
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  
Romance Scams
One of the most debilitating frauds that we have seen in Winnipeg is the Romance Scam.  With the internet, dating sites and social media we have more ways to connect with people than ever.  Unfortunately these are also the tools used by predators and scammers.

The scammer will imbed herself/himself into the victim’s life and develop a relationship over a period of time.  Eventually the scammer will begin to manipulate the victim to provide money for travel expenses, paying off foreign governments, or medical expenses.  When the victim finally realizes that they have been in a relationship with a scammer they are left not only broken hearted, but also with a financial loss.  Most victims of the Romance Scam that Winnipeg Police Service Commercial Crime Unit has spoken with do not realize how much they have given the scammer, yet in 2015 the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre found that the average loss was $25,000.00 per victim.  There were 672 victims who lost $16,889,780.67.

If you or someone know is involved in a potential romance scam contact the Winnipeg Police Service to make a report or go to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website, http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/fraud-escroquerie/types/romance-rencontre/index-eng.htm