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(RENFREW, ON) – The Renfrew Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Is warning the public after five people in Toronto were recently defrauded of millions of dollars in a telephone-based scam.

The scheme involves the victim receiving a phone call from someone posing as a retailer and alerting them that their credit card account has been compromised. The victim is then told to call 911, as well as their financial institution, to report the fraud but when they hang up, the person is unaware the call is not disconnected.

Police said the victims are then led to believe they make an outgoing call and are speaking to authorities but in fact, the original call was never disconnected. The victims are then told to go to their banking institution to transfer funds into a different account which is supposedly intended to safeguard their funds. The victim has in fact received these instructions from the original fraudster.

Protect yourself from this and other frauds and scams. Don’t give out personal financial details or information over the phone. Don’t believe callers who say they are from your bank or credit card company if you have a concern go to your bank personally. Educate yourself about banking practices. Banks would never advise you to transfer funds to another outside account to protect your funds. More information on frauds and scams and how to protect yourself can be found online:

  • Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
  • Consumer Protection Ontario
  • Canadian Bankers Association
  • Ontario Provincial Police