Media Release. Thursday, June 17, 2021.

Fraud Warnings

(Innisfil/Bradford, ON) The South Simcoe Police Service wants citizens to be aware of a couple of scams reported in our communities.

The first scam involves phone calls from multiple suspects posing as utility company employees and alleging the victim is behind in payments. An Innisfil resident was directed to deposit cash in a bank machine at a mall in Barrie and then told to bring the cash to a gas station in Barrie. The suspects threatened to show up at the victim’s house in one hour to disconnect the power if the victim didn’t comply. Luckily, the resident did not fall for the scam but wanted others to be warned.

If you receive a suspicious call from someone claiming to be from a utility company, ask for a name and then call the utility company back to confirm that the initial call was legitimate. Always report these fraudulent calls to police and never provide personal information over the phone. Check your bill for company contact information.

The other scam is a pet fraud involving a Bradford victim. The victim sent an e-transfer for a dog advertised on Facebook then went to an address in Newmarket to pick up the new pet. When the victim arrived at the address, there was no dog and the victim subsequently learned the ad was fake. This resident also called police so that others could be warned.

Here are some things to remember when buying a pet online:

-Never pay for a pet without seeing it first
-Try to see the pet in person but if not, request a video call
-Never pay with Bitcoin, a wire transfer or gift cards because once that money is gone, it’s nearly impossible to get back
-Adopt pets from your local shelter or reputable pet store

These are two good examples of how neighbours can help neighbours. Please report scams to police to prevent others from becoming victims.

On Wednesday, June 16, 2021, South Simcoe Police Service officers responded to 66 calls for service.