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Police urge public to be aware of fraud, report attempts

Four mass-marketing frauds – romance scams, extortion, phishing and service scams – will be highlighted in campaigns launched by a coalition of authorities to mark Fraud Prevention Month.

During the month of March, the OPP, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and the Competition Bureau of Canada are joining police services across the country to promote public awareness to help prevent all Canadians from becoming victims of fraud.

 During the past year, Canadians who fell victim to fraud’s destructive toll saw losses totalling approximately $97 million. That figure represents only the losses related to the approximately five per cent of fraud victims who report the crime to police.

Regardless of age, gender or location, everyone can take basic steps to better protect themselves from becoming a victim of fraud. Some tips include never giving out personal or financial information at the door, over the phone, by e-mail, through social media or via unsecured retail or dating websites, police suggest.

 If you do fall victim to a scam, individuals are urged to continue to report them to police even if a financial transaction did not occur.

Fraud Prevention Month is about the fraud prevention community working together to create greater awareness and to highlight the various ways that all Canadians are being targeted by fraud. By emphasizing the education component, Canadians can be better prepared, say police.

 If you or someone you know suspect they’ve been a victim of fraud, contact your local police service and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre by phone or online by creating an account in the Fraud Reporting System (FRS).

MARCH 3

8:00 AM | Perth County OPP are investigating the theft of street signs from seven intersections in Monkton. The thefts are believed to have occurred on the weekend from February 28 to March 2. A few of the signs have been recovered after they were discarded in the Town of Monkton, but most of the signs remain outstanding.  If you have any information on who is responsible or where the stolen signs are contact police at 1-888-310-1122. Should you wish to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or submit a secure web-tip at hc-cs.ca where you may be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $2,000.

MARCH 5

2:17 PM | An 82-year-old Drayton man was driving a blue Dodge van south on First Street West in Elmira when a blue Dodge SUV, driven by a 40-year-old Waterloo woman entered the intersection, striking the driver’s side of the vehicle. No one was injured, but both vehicles had to be towed from the scene. The driver of the SUV was charged with ‘failing to yield to traffic on through highway.’

MARCH 6

5:41 PM | A 19-year-old Wellesley man is facing several charges related to a pair of collisions. Huron County Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) received a call from a motorist that had just been rear-ended by a sport utility vehicle. The suspect driver of the SUV failed to pull over and continued on past the vehicle he rear-ended. The victim followed the sport utility vehicle and not far away the driver of the sport utility vehicle ditched his vehicle at the intersection of Currie Line and Reid Road. Officers responded to the scene whereupon they located the driver of the sport utility vehicle. Upon speaking to the young male driver the investigating officer noticed the driver was displaying several signs of impairment by alcohol. As a result the driver was placed under arrest for impaired operation and was taken into custody. Upon searching the his vehicle, officers located three rifles and ammunition that were being stored in a careless manner.The accused was then transported to the Huron OPP Detachment where he provided two samples of his breath to the qualified intoxilizer technician; both of his test results were analyzed to be above the legal limit. The man was subsequently charged with ‘operation while impaired,’ ‘operation while impaired – blood alcohol concentration (BAC) 80-plus,’ ‘failure to stop after accident’ and ‘careless storage of a firearm.’  He was also served with a 90-day driver’s licence suspension and his vehicle was impounded. He is scheduled to appear April 6 at the Ontario Court of Justice – Goderich. 

MARCH 7

2:55 PM |  A 42-year-old Elora man was driving a white Honda SUV northbound on Northfield Drive near Jigs Hollow Road, north of Conestogo, when the vehicle crossed the centre line and left the roadway, entered the ditch and struck a tree. The driver was transported to hospital with minor injuries. The vehicle was towed from the scene. The driver was charged with ‘careless driving.’

MARCH 9

8:00 AM | Sometime overnight, suspects broke in to a drive shed located on a farm property on Line 70 north of Milverton. The suspects forced open the locked drive shed and stole a 2004 orange Kubota RTV900 side-by-side utility vehicle. The suspects also used a forklift from inside the drive shed to steal a white 250-gallon fuel tank. The fuel tank was approximately half-full of diesel fuel. There was also a large fuel tank containing gasoline that was loaded on the forklift but was not stolen. The suspects used a farm tractor in the drive shed to ram the overhead garage door to another building located on the property, causing significant damage. It does not appear suspects entered this building. Perth County OPP continue to investigate the incident and anyone with information is asked to contact Police at 1-888-310-1122.

2:53 PM | A 74-year-old Ariss woman was driving a school bus on St. Charles Street in Bloomingdale when, attempting to make a left turn onto Sawmill Road, her vehicle was struck by an eastbound blue Chevrolet SUV driven by a 69 yr-year-old Kitchener man. The Chevrolet struck the passenger-side door of the school bus. Emergency services attended and paramedics assessed the drivers at the scene – no injuries were reported. There were no passengers on the bus at the time of the collision. The SUV was towed from the scene. The driver of the school bus was charged with ‘failing to yield to through traffic.’

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