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MEDIA RELEASE

For Immediate Release
Bridgewater Police Service – Media Release
Date: August 9, 2023

Subject: Fraud and scams are on the rise – here are some tips to protect yourself

BRIDGEWATER, NS – There has been a notable increase in fraud-related activities reported to Bridgewater Police Service in recent weeks, with some instances resulting in victims losing large amounts of money because of scams.

With technology constantly changing and scammers becoming more and more creative, we wanted to connect with the community to share some important fraud-prevention tips that could help save you from becoming their next victim.

RECENT EXAMPLES OF FRAUD
Many fraudsters use calls, texts, or e-mails claiming to be from Amazon, Bell, the Canada Revenue Agency, Eastlink, or other businesses or banking institutions. Those messages prompt you to click a link and provide personal or banking information or payment.

None of these companies or agencies would ever ask you to provide banking information through a link or in this manner. It’s generally best to avoid clicking any unknown links in e-mails or texts, especially if you don’t know the sender.

When in doubt, it is best to verify a request by calling an authentic phone number (like one on a bill that you’ve received) or attending in-store to ensure that a request is legitimate.

Similarly, messages stating that you have won the lottery and in order to receive your prize you must send an amount of money to receive your prize is also a classic scam. Do not send any money via e-transfer or mail to anyone you don’t know.

NEW SCAMS
We have seen an increase in scammers requesting could-be victims to download an app to share their computer or mobile device screen. This allows scammers to enter into your online banking platforms and send money from your account to various banking institutions worldwide. Do not click these links or grant permission to anyone to share your device screen to minimize these risks.

Fraud using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin continues to be on the rise and, in other instances, scammers will request that you buy gift cards and take a picture of the gift card number on the back of the card, then provide the number to them. This is not a safe practice, and you will not be able to recoup your money if you do this.

IMPORTANT TIPS TO HELP KEEP YOU SECURE
- Verify the person you are speaking with is who they say they are. Request for the person’s identification number, hang up, and call the number on an authentic website directly.

- Do not buy gift cards and provide anyone with the gift card identification numbers.

- Do not send money in form of e-transfers to people you don’t know personally.

- Do not send cash in the mail.

- Be cautious when you click any link provided in an e-mail, text or online.

- Do not provide personal information or banking information over the phone or through links, emails, texts, etc.

- Do not send money to receive alleged lotto prizes.

- Do not screen the screen on your desktop or mobile device.

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