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Pet purchase, gift card scams raise alarms in south Simcoe

More people were being targeted by websites, social media and email in 2022, but in-person contact scams resulted in the highest amount of money lost, the report found. More people were being targeted by websites, social media and email in 2022, but in-person contact scams resulted in the highest amount of money lost, the report found.
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Police are warning south Simcoe residents of fraudulent activity in the area.

The South Simcoe Police Service said it recently received reports of fraud in which two victims lost about $1,000 combined.

One of the frauds was a fake purchase of a pet where the victim e-transferred money to buy a dog from an online advertisement.

Once the money was deposited, the seller stopped all contact with the buyer and blocked them.

To avoid this type of fraud, police encourage potential buyers to make sure the pet is seen either in person or by video call, pay with a credit card, research the seller, keep screenshots of all the interactions and consider adopting from reputable breeders and shelters.

The second fraud involved a purchase of gifts cards for a “friend in need.” The victim received an email from a friend saying they needed help and requested hundreds of dollars in gift cards.

The victim complied with the friend’s first request, but when more gift cards were requested, the person reached out to the friend and learned their email had been hacked and that it was a scam.

In these types of incidences, police encourage people to confirm with the source requesting money through a phone call or text and not reply to the account that may have been hacked.

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