Huron County Detachment DATE: March 10, 2021
HOME WARRANTY SERVICES & CARBON TAX REFUND SCAM
(HURON COUNTY, ON) – Huron County Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) would like to remind everyone to exercise extreme caution when sharing personal information such as bank account details to strangers whether it be online or over the phone.
In just this week Huron County OPP has become aware of four residents that have shared bank account details with an organization that claims to be involved in providing home warranty services and “carbon tax” refunds. The victims in the matter shared bank account details over the phone in an effort to collect a carbon tax refund.
Fortunately the victims in these investigations contacted their banking institutions and informed the bank. The accounts are now frozen and are under review. Police checks have revealed this is an active scam throughout the province.
If you are contacted by an organization offering a tax refund of any kind, do not provide any personal information over the phone or online. Simply hang up the phone or delete the message. If you have any doubt a quick online search of the business/organization through the Better Business Bureau of Canada www.bbb.org or a basic online search will likely confirm your suspicions that it is a scam.
In 2020, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) received 19,473 fraud reports from 9,858 Ontario victims who reported losing approximately $47 million to fraudsters. Moreover CAFC received, 67,294 reports from Canadian consumers and businesses that reported losses totalling more than $104.2 million. Unfortunately, this figure only represents the losses related to approximately five percent of fraud victims who report the crime to police or the CAFC.
Fraudsters have embraced technologies to engage, target and exploit victims, often with devastating financial and emotional effects. All Canadians can take basic steps to better protect themselves from becoming a victim of fraud. Some basic online tips include:
· Creating strong passwords
· Avoid opening unsolicited emails or clicking on suspicious links or attachments
· Restricting the amount of information shared publicly
· Show caution with regards to social media; and
· Update technical security software.
Fraud Prevention Month is about the fraud prevention community working together to create greater awareness and to highlight the various ways that all Canadians are being targeted by fraud. By emphasizing the education component, Canadians can be better prepared.
If you do fall victim to a fraud or know someone who has, we urge individuals to contact your local police service and the CAFC by phone at 1-888-495-8501 or online by way of the Fraud Reporting System (FRS), even if a financial loss did not occur.
For more fraud facts and figures and a downloadable booklet (PDF), visit The Competition Bureau of Canada website at
https://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/eng/home or by visiting http://www.opp.ca and Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
Contact: ProvincialConstable Jamie Stanley
Phone: (519) 482-1677