A warning to seniors about potential phones scams after police say a woman in Orillia was cheated out of $16 thousand dollars.

"She had been contacted by somebody alleging that they were in charge of a lottery scheme in Florida and that she had won over a million dollars U.S. in the lottery," said Martin Graham, Inspector with the Orillia OPP.

In order to claim the prize, the woman was given fraudulent banking details over the phone and was asked to pay up, not once, but four times.

"She believed that she had in fact won the lottery and was going to be coming into a large sum of money which never materialized,” said Graham.

Inspector Graham presented new numbers to the police services board show fraud is on the rise in Orillia.

A total of 161 incidents have been reported in the city between January and September of this year, up 66 per cent from the same time period in 2017, when 97 schemes were reported.

The numbers includes credit card fraud, CRA scams, as well as fake construction schemes. Police say seniors are often the primary targets, and the money is often nearly impossible for investigators to trace and recover.

Police are reminding people never to send money or personal banking details to anyone you don't know and trust. And if it sounds too good to be true, it often is.