Media Release. Tuesday, September 28, 2021.

Joker Mastercard Fraud

(Innisfil/Bradford, ON) The South Simcoe Police Service is issuing a warning about a pre-paid gift card fraud targeting local phone numbers.

Police are investigating three recent reports where victims in Bradford and Innisfil were scammed out of thousands of dollars after being instructed to purchase Joker Prepaid Mastercards by callers claiming to be a bank investigator or law enforcement.

· A victim was told there was unauthorized activity on her credit card and instructed to buy gift cards to resolve the issue. The suspect even sent a taxi to the victim’s residence to take her to the store. This victim lost just over $4,000.

· A victim purchased $4,000 worth of gift cards after being called by an “investigator.” The suspect instructed the victim to put her phone in her purse while she bought the gift cards so the scammers could monitor the entire transaction.

· A victim purchased $10,000 worth of gift cards after receiving a call from what he thought was a bank investigator.

Some of the details change slightly but the fraud is basically the same each time. The South Simcoe Police Service urges residents to protect themselves with a few simple tips:

· Hang up the phone if you receive one of these calls.

· Call your bank or credit card company to verify the legitimacy of people claiming to be “investigators.”

· Call family members and tell them. Often scammers will instruct victims not to disclose to anyone what is happening.

· Protect your personal information. Never give out your name, date of birth, Social Insurance Number, address, banking and credit card information or passwords to anyone you don’t know.

· If you didn’t initiate the call, you don’t know who you’re talking to so again – hang up.

· No legitimate organization will contact you and ask for payment in gift cards or prepaid credit cards.

Resist the natural reaction to act immediately and make decisions you otherwise wouldn’t make. Scammers are experts at creating a sense of panic and urgency.
Always report fraud to police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre by calling toll free 1-888-495-8501. Your information could assist an investigation, provide links between incidents and assist police with our prevention and awareness efforts. Please share this information with loved ones and those who may be aggressively targeted by these kinds of scams. Discuss the crime prevention tips provided.