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Canada Peterborough police issue warning after resident loses $11,000 in prize scam

23:08  22 june  2020
23:08  22 june  2020 Source:   globalnews.ca

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a close up of a stereo: Peterborough police are warning others after a woman fell victim to a prize scam. © Global News Peterborough police are warning others after a woman fell victim to a prize scam.

Peterborough police are warning the community to remain vigilant after a resident lost $11,000 in a prize scam last month.

According to the Peterborough Police Service, in early May the victim received a Facebook message claiming she had won $25,000 and that she had to text a number to confirm if her name was on the list of winners.

Police say the victim texted the number and then received a further message that she had won $25,000. She was then informed that for every $500 paid, it would increase her winnings by $25,000.

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"The victim paid $1,000 thinking she would then receive $75,000 in winnings," police said. "The fraudsters then told the victim in order to collect her winnings, she needed to pay $1,500 for required documents and fees. The victim was initially told to pay in gift cards, which she did."

Police say a few days later, the scammers contacted the victim again and said she needed to send bitcoins (cryptocurrency) since the gift cards were invalid. They also requested additional money to re-issue the cheque for her winnings.

"The victim continued to send bitcoins and gift cards to the scammers totalling approximately $11,000," police said. "The victim’s bank became suspicious of the account activity, froze the victim’s account and advised her to call police."

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The incident was reported to police on June 19.

Police are reminding residents to be aware of any text, phone call or email claiming you have won a prize. As well, there are no prize fees or taxes in Canada for contest winners.

Police advise that for any such phone call, hang up and call your bank, a family member or a trusted friend before disclosing any personal information or making a payment over the phone, through email or via text.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of fraud, contact the Peterborough Police Service at 705-876-1122 or online, or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or online. For more information on how to protect yourself from frauds and scams, visit the government of Canada or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

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