NIAGARA REGIONAL POLICE SERVICE
The Niagara Regional Police Service Central Fraud Unit is investigating after an elderly couple from Niagara Falls became victims to a gift card fraud scam.
The initial investigation has determined that on May 12, 2022, the suspects made contact with the victims through a “pop up” on their computer. The scammers then contacted the victims by telephone. The victims were tricked into believing that they were communicating with their bank. The victims were directed to make payments using gift cards.
The scammers directed the victims to a store in Burlington to buy gift cards. The victims traveled to the store and bought $16,000 worth of gift cards. The victims were then directed to another store in Burlington where they purchased $1,000 in gift cards.
On May 13, 2022, scammers directed the victims to attend a drugstore in Niagara Falls where they purchased gift cards totaling $5,000.
All of the gift card numbers were provided to the scammers.
There is limited information available about the suspects except that they were male and that one of them sounded to be in his 50s with an accent.
Members of the public who wish to provide information anonymously can contact Crime Stoppers of Niagara online or by calling 1-800-222-8477. Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards to persons who contact the program with information which leads to an arrest.
Click here for Crime Stoppers online
In an effort to protect the vulnerable victims from scams we would like to ask the public to take a “NRP me plus three” approach to scams. Seek out information from an official source, educate yourself and then educate three persons in your life who may be vulnerable to becoming victims of scam crime. #NRPMePlus3
We would also like to appeal to corporate Canada to develop protocols at the point of sale that protect vulnerable persons who may be caught in a scam. E.g. When seeing a vulnerable person purchasing thousands of dollars in gift cards, intervene.
- Never confirm any personal information over the phone.
- Always verify who is calling.
- Don’t be pressured. Stop. Take some time to process what you have been told, to see if it makes sense.
- Ask a trusted friend or family member for their opinion.
- If you’re in doubt, call your local police service.