Police are investigating after they say a Peterborough woman was scammed out of $13,000 in a fraud involving Google Play gift cards.
Police say on May 1, a 67-year-old woman received a call from a man who identified himself as a bank employee. He stated the woman’s bank account had been jeopardized and her funds frozen.
He asked that the woman forward money to him in order to access her accounts.
The woman was instructed to purchase Google Play gift cards at local convenience stores and provide him with identification numbers. On that day, she purchased $7,000 worth of gift cards at three stores.
On May 2, she was contacted by the same caller who advised her to purchase additional gift cards. The woman attended three more stores and purchased an additional $6,000 worth of gift cards.
Det. Const. Keith Calderwood of the service’s fraud unit, advises people to pause and think before providing any personal or banking information to someone or provide any payment until their identity has been confirmed.
He cautions that anytime a person is asked to pay off a debt or access their bank accounts by using gift cards, it’s a fraud.
“When in doubt, hang up. Call your bank back specifically or call a trusted family member or friend and ask them if the call makes sense,” police stated.
Police advice to report a scam, call the Peterborough Police Service at 705-876-1122 or report it online. To report an unsuccessful scam phone call, call the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or visit their online fraud-reporting system.
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