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Orillia OPP warns of recent local online, phone scams

Some victims are told loved ones are in jail and need money, police say
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Orillia OPP is reporting “several” cases of fraud have occurred in the area recently.

In some cases, people have been told their loved ones are either incarcerated or “facing a large fine from police,” Orillia OPP stated in a news release.

“For their loved one to be released from police custody, the victims are directed to attend their local bank and withdraw a large sum of cash. Arrangements are made for the cash to be left at a specific location where a ‘courier’ will pick it up.”

The victims are told not to let anyone know about the situation and not let their bank know where the money is going.

Other fraud complaints police have received are related to online sales via social media apps. In those cases, a “potential buyer” asks to pay by cheque.

“They request to pay extra and have the balance of funds e-transferred back to their account by the victim. The cheque is fraudulent and the funds that are sent by the victim are then lost,” police noted.

Orillia OPP offers the following tips and information:

  • Police will not contact people to immediately pay a fine and they would not send a courier to collect money. “In these cases, the caller can sound very convincing and can be very demanding.” 
  • If people get calls from what they believe to be a legitimate business or service, they should verify by calling a number they know is valid for that business or service. “Scammers can ‘spoof’ phone numbers to appear to represent a legitimate business.”
  • Those who are receiving funds by cheque should make sure their financial institution clears the transaction before using the money or providing the items they are selling.

Orillia OPP invites local service groups looking for more information about fraud prevention to call the Community Mobilization Unit at 705-326-3536.