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Durham Police continue to see cases of seniors being targeted by scam callers

DAN CEARNS, The Standard

SCUGOG: Durham Regional Police Service (DRPS) continue to hear about local seniors falling for scam calls, even in North Durham.

At a meeting on Monday, April 4th, Inspector Ryan Connolly told Scugog Councillors senior related calls for service increased by 10 percent from 2020 to 2021.

“The fraudsters out there, they like to target our elderly. That’s an easy target for them,” Inspector Connolly said. “You have a generation that’s very trusting, and unfortunately, that sometimes leads to victimization.”

Inspector Connolly said these types of calls are becoming more and more common.

“We’ve had several tragic cases in the last couple of weeks, even in North Division where one couple lost their entire savings,” he explained.

The local police service has been trying to combat this through education. “From an education standpoint, we are doing everything we can to get the word out there, to not fall victim to these various scams. But unfortunately, we are still seeing members of our elderly community becoming victims,” Inspector Connolly stated.

Inspector Connolly encourages people who receive calls like this, asking for money or personal information, to contact the police. Some of these types of calls will ask for payment via gift cards.

In a 2021 video posted on the DRPS Twitter Page, Detective Constable Martin Franssen explained the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) scam.

“It tends to come at you in two forms. You may get a threatening telephone message that tells you, you must pay your CRA bill now, or else police are going to come arrest you. Alternatively, you may receive a text message [which] says you have a refund. You’re not anticipating a refund, but they’re telling you, you have one coming. Do not respond to either [of them]. The CRA will not threaten you, and you won’t receive a text message saying you’re getting money back,” the Detective Constable stated in the video.

On the DRPS website, there are several tips to avoid scams. One is to “never provide personal information to anyone over the phone unless you have confirmed their identity.” Police also ask people not to send money or gift cards to people they don’t know. For more information, go online to www.drps.ca.

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