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Simcoe County victims conned out of thousands of dollars with gift card scams

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Residents in Simcoe County are being warned of scams involving the purchase of gift cards.

The South Simcoe Police Service says it's investigating a series of recent frauds where victims in Bradford and Innisfil lost thousands of dollars due to these scammers.

Victims were instructed to purchase gift cards through phone calls and emails in an urgent manner.

"Several victims purchased gift cards with a total loss of over $10,000 after receiving requests in fake emails from employers and friends, "police said in a Friday press release.

"A victim purchased over $9,000 worth of gift cards after receiving a call from someone claiming to be from a financial institution regarding unauthorized activity on a credit card.

"Several victims lost a total of over $2,000 after starting what turned out to be fake, work-from-home jobs, and were instructed by the "employer" to purchase gift cards. "

AVOID BECOMING A VICTIM

Any requests to purchase gift cards through a phone call or email should be considered a red flag, police say.

Contact your bank or credit card company to verify the legitimacy of those reaching out asking you to purchase these cards.

Seek advice from friends, family or police, and never provide personal information, including your social insurance number or banking information.

Police say to hang up the phone if you didn't initiate the call and don't know the person on the other end.

Residents are asked to report fraud to the police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre by calling toll-free 1-888-495-8501. 

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