The Russell County Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) detachment wants members of the community to be mindful when receiving phone calls from their banking companies.

The fraudsters are posing as bank customer service employees and using the customer service telephone numbers to make calls to the victims. They will speak with the victims, telling them that they’re victim of fraud, and to provide all their banking information and passwords over the telephone. The culprits will then tell the victims to place all their debit and credit cards in an envelope, and that someone will pass by their residence to pick them up to be destroyed.

On March 21, a Russell County OPP officer received a report of a fraud involving an identity theft. The fraudster told the victim that he was a bank employee and that she was a victim of fraud. He instructed her to provide all of her banking information, passwords and to place all of her debit and credit cards in an envelope to give them to an employee that would attend her home. She gave the envelope to an unknown female the next day. The victim lost more than $6,000 in one day.

Warning signs – How to protect yourself

• If you are asked to provide all of your banking information and passwords, don’t do it, it’s a scam.

• Ask yourself why any company would ask for banking information over the phone or text message when they should already have your information on file.

• Contact the company or agency directly to confirm that if you REALLY are victim of identity fraud or that there’s a problem, before providing any personal or banking information.

Fraud…. Recognize it! Reject it! Report it!

Please refer to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website for information about the numerous types of scams and how to protect yourself and others.

If you suspect that you may be a target of fraud, or if you have already sent funds, don’t be embarrassed – you’re not alone. If you want to report a fraud, or if you need more information, contact The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

Toll Free: 1-888-495-8501