Media Release. Thursday, January 6, 2022.

Fraud Alert

(Bradford/Innisfil, ON) The South Simcoe Police Service wants to make the public aware of recent reports of frauds in our area.

One of the frauds involves the purchase of a pets over the internet. The victim e-transferred a sum of money to buy a dog from an online advertisement.
After receiving a deposit, the suspect stopped all contact and blocked the victim.

The South Simcoe Police Service has the following tips:

See the pet in person or do a video call with the seller before paying any money
Pay with a credit card which gives you greater protection in case of fraud
Research the seller to confirm the ad is legitimate and the pet photos are authentic
Keep screenshots of all correspondence
Consider adopting with a local reputable breeders and shelters

The second fraud involves the purchase of gift cards for a supposed “friend in need.” The victim received an email that appeared to be from a friend stating the friend was in trouble and needed help. The “friend” requested hundreds of dollars in gift cards. The victim complied with the initial request but when more gift cards were requested, the victim contacted the real friend and learned the friend’s email was hacked and the incident was a scam.

Always check to confirm the source of a request for money but don’t reply to the account that could have been hacked
Contact the friend via phone or text to verify the situation if the original request is from email
Requests for gift cards are a red flag for fraud

The financial loss for both victims combined is nearly a $1,000. These frauds involve an emotional element. It’s understandable how someone would quickly step up to help a friend or happily part with money to have an adorable pet. We urge you to always take a deep breath and proceed with caution before you part with your cash.

On Wednesday, January 5, 2022, the South Simcoe Police Service responded to 72 calls for service.