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Foreign Money Offers

A foreign money offer involves an offer or request for assistance in the transfer of a large sum of money from an international country. The offer may appear to come from a lawyer or law office advising the victim of an inheritance of a sum of money. The potential victim must pay one or more advance fees before the money can be released. The money or inheritance is fictitious and the victim never receives the money promised. This is sometimes referred to as Nigerian, 419 or West African fraud. Other variations can involve contracts for work completed in foreign country, black money and fund transfer schemes.

Once communication is established, scammers may use telephone and instant messaging or social networking sites to continue to build a rapport with the intended victims. These schemes can be carried out over a long period of time.

If you think you or someone you know has been a victim of fraud, please contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or http://www.antifraudcentre.ca. Fraud: Recognize It, Report It, Stop It.

How to Protect Yourself

Beware of unsolicited emails seeking assistance in transferring funds out of a foreign country or offering an inheritance.

Watch for spelling and formatting errors in the supposed financial institution website.

Go with your gut. If an email seems fishy it probably is.

Emergency Scam

Seniors are often victimized by fraudsters telephoning and pretending to be family members. From our partners at the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, here are some tips on "The Emergency Scam".

The scam is operated by fraudsters claiming to be a family member or a close friend of a family member and advising the potential victim about an urgent situation that requires immediate funds. Common themes have been that the family member was arrested or got into an accident while traveling abroad. Thus fees are required for hospital expenses, or bail.

Since 2009, the CAFC has received 17,132 emergency scam complaints were received accounting for more than 24 million dollars in reported losses. The average loss per victim was $3,743.07. Of the 17,132 complaints there were 11,889 emergency scam occurrences reported by Canadians.

How to Protect Yourself

Confirm with other relatives the whereabouts of the family member or friend.

Police, Judges or legal entities will never request that money be sent through money service business such as Western Union, MoneyGram.

Never voluntarily give out family members names or information to unknown callers.

Always question urgent requests for money.

If you think you or someone you know has been a victim of fraud, please contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or http://www.antifraudcentre.ca. Fraud: Recognize It, Report It, Stop It.

   

Trailer Safety

South Simcoe Police would like to remind the public about safe trailer use.

Trailers come in many shapes and sizes. Pulling a trailer requires extra care and attention. A trailer puts extra weight on your vehicle and increases the space you need to drive and stop safely. Trailer safety involves some simple and important rules.

A trailer must be registered and licensed before it can be used on the road.

Before using your trailer, make sure it is in safe operating condition. Inspect the lights, tires, brakes (if equipped), bearings, safety chains and hitch. The law requires brakes on trailers that weigh 1360 kg (3000 lb) or more.

You must have two separate means of attachment between your vehicle and the trailer. Safety chains should be crossed under the tongue to prevent the tongue from dropping to the road should the primary hitch accidentally disconnect. It is required that chain hooks have latches or devices that prevent accidental disconnect. The breaking strength of each chain should equal the gross weight of the towed trailer.

 

When attaching the trailer to a vehicle, make sure it is hitched securely. The trailer tongue should be snug on the ball when locked. Never overload the trailer. Overloading or poor load distribution can cause serious swaying and separation when driving and possible tire, wheel bearing and axle failure. Also, the law requires that loose objects be covered with a tarp and everything be strapped down so nothing can bounce or fly off.

Fines range from $110 to $390 for trailer and load offences.

Safe travels, and remember you are responsible for the trailer behind you.

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Bank Inspector Scam

Some of the most vulnerable people in our community are seniors. Fraudsters frequently target seniors in an attempt to scam them out of their money. An informed senior can see through these scams and protect themselves. From our partners at the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, here are some tips about “The Bank Investigator Scam”.

Suspect(s) contact seniors by phone advising that they require their assistance to catch a bank employee that “has been stealing money”. The person is instructed to go to their bank and make a cash withdrawal, usually in 100 dollar bills, for amounts in the $5,000.00 dollar range. The person is told not to tell the bank teller what they are doing because the teller may be involved. The senior is instructed to place the cash in an envelope and meet the ‘Investigator’ in a nearby parking lot where the cash is turned over.

Since 2010, the CAFC has received 66 complaints of the bank investigator targeting Senior citizens. 36 of the complaints are listed as victims with a total dollar loss of $241,200.

If you think you or someone you know has been a victim of fraud, please contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or http://www.antifraudcentre.ca. Fraud: Recognize It, Report It, Stop It.

How to Protect Yourself

Never give cash to someone you don’t know or are meeting for the first time.

Financial institutions will never solicit assistance from you for internal investigation.

Contact police or the financial institution immediately to verify the telephone call you received.

Car Insurance

A recent trend Traffic Officers are coming across is people driving their vehicles without insurance.

 

Did you know:

  • that officers now have access to databases across the province which may assist them by showing whether or not a vehicle holds a valid insurance policy?
  • a conviction for a first offence of operating a motor vehicle on a highway with no insurance carries a minimum fine of $5000.00 and $10,000.00 for a second offence?
  • surrendering a false or counterfeit insurance slip also carries a $10,000.00 fine?
  • if you are driving while under suspension or unlicenced, your insurance policy is in most cases considered null and void
  • a criminal driving conviction can seriously affect your ability to obtain insurance coverage?

Remember, insurance is not only to protect your vehicle, it is also there to help protect you against civil liability. It is not uncommon to see civil law suit awards in the two million dollar range.

Check with your insurance broker to ensure your coverage is complete and valid. It could save you both money and legal trouble.

Remember, road safety is everyone's responsibility.

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