Town police warn of scam targeting local businesses

May 27, 2015   ·   0 Comments

The Orangeville Police Service has sent out a release alerting the community concerning a new scam that has been targeting local businesses and residents over the past week.

On May 21, Orangeville Hydro advised police that there had been numerous complaints from business and residential customers in Orangeville that they had received a call from someone claiming to be from Orangeville Hydro. The scam has gone as far in depth as to ensure that ‘Orangeville Hydro’ appears on call-display phones of those that have been targeted. The individual claiming to be from the company advised the customer that they had outstanding amounts owing on their utility bill and would be required to pay the amount immediately, or risk having their services cut off by 4:30 p.m. that day. The customer would then receive instructions to attend a payment location in Orangeville and asked to make a payment via a money transfer.

Orangeville Hydro has advised that the calls are not coming from their offices and that the company would not request to collect payment in that manner.

In its release last Thursday, OPS advised residents not to comply with directions to complete this kind of payment if you receive a call.

This specific flood of calls is just one of many recent telephone scams targeting residents, including ones supposedly from the Marriott Hotels and WestJet, presenting what appear to be local numbers. The Marriot and WestJet calls are identifiable by the country code 011 at the start of the number, before the 519 area code.

Other scams also include calls from fraudsters claiming to be the RCMP informing you of suspicious activity on your computer, fraudsters claiming to represent the Canadian Radio and Television Commission (CRTC) requesting personal information to re-register you on the National No-Call list, and others claiming to be form the Canada Revenue Agency or the Police, stating that they have a warrant for your arrest and demanding money in order to resolve the situation.

Police are warning residents not to fall for the scams or to provide financial or personal informations to strangers over the phone.

“The best way to handle such frauds and scams is the end the call quickly and not respond to  the direction of the fraudster,” advised Orangeville Police Chief Wayne Kalinski.

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