Release Date: January 24th, 2020 - 1:58am
Originator: Staff Sergeant, S/Sgt. Paul DAVIES, Uniform Operations, 905.825.4747 ext. 2410
Contact: ------, aa, Media Relations, 905.825.4747 ext. 4899
Location: Halton Hills (Georgetown)
Halton Regional Police are reminding the public to be vigilant and to protect themselves from fraudulent phone scams.
Recently an elderly Georgetown woman was victimized in a phone scam that defrauded her credit card account of several thousand dollars. Over the course of two days a male called the woman and advised he worked in the security department of her bank, falsely informing her that her credit card had been compromised.
This scammer gave specific instructions for the woman to attend three different pharmacy locations in Halton Hills and purchase thousands of dollars in Google gift cards. If she was asked the reason for the purchases by store clerks, she was instructed to reply that the cards were for a wedding. Once at home with the cards, the scammer had the victim reveal the code on the back of each card. Due to the fact most gift cards are activated at the point of purchase, they were rendered worthless shortly after the scammer received the codes.
Financial institutions, security departments and law enforcement agencies will never ask clients or the general public to directly assist in fraud investigations involving their own accounts, especially over the phone.
Seniors should be especially aware of this as scammers take advantage of their well-intent to assist. Families should ensure their elderly relatives are aware of such scams.
If you suspect such a scam over the phone, hang up and report the issue to your financial institution using their support number on the back of your card.
Information on frauds and scams can be found at https://www.haltonpolice.ca/services/brochuresfactsheets/documents/FraudsandScams.pdf