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WRPS issues scam warnings during Fraud Prevention Month

During Fraud Prevention Month, Waterloo Regional Police have launched a campaign to educate the public on current scams affecting the community. 

With the pandemic forcing people to stay home, many people have turned to the internet to search for employment, order groceries and complete everyday tasks. This has left more people susceptible to on-line scams and fraudsters who are looking to capitalize on the challenging times of COVID-19, police say.

Some of the scams that will be highlighted on the WRPS social media sites and webpage include: 

  • Bitcoin scam
  • Online buy and sell scam
  • Gift card scam
  • Employment scam

Throughout the month, police will describe how individuals are falling victim and will provide safety tips to prevent becoming a victim of fraud.

Fraud Prevention Month is an annual awareness campaign that empowers Canadians with the information they need to recognize, reject and report fraud. Consider sharing this information with friends, neighbours, and family members who may not be connected to social media or who may have missed previous warnings in the news.

FEBRUARY 23

11:05 PM | Waterloo Regional Police responded to reports of a collision involving a snowplow and a Ford SUV at Henry Street and Queensway Drive in St. Jacobs. The initial investigation revealed that the driver of the SUV was pulling out from a private drive when it was struck by the truck. The driver of the SUV, a 37-year-old woman, was transported to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Henry Street was closed for several hours while police investigated. The investigation is ongoing by members of Waterloo Regional Police Service’s Traffic Unit. Anyone who witnessed the collision is asked to call police at 519-570-9777 extension 8856 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

FEBRUARY 26

2:00 PM | Waterloo Regional Police received a report of a theft from a vehicle on Ferris Drive in Wellesley Township. The victim’s vehicle was left unlocked and was rummaged through. Personal property was taken from the vehicle. Anyone who has not reported a similar theft is encouraged to do so by visiting www.wrps.on.ca to file an online report, or calling police at 519-570-9777. Waterloo Regional Police are encouraging the public to report any suspicious activity immediately. Residents are reminded to lock their vehicles and keep valuables out of sight. 

8:20 PM | Wellington County OPP responded to a report of a single-vehicle collision on Wellington Road 38 at Highway 6 north of Guelph, where a black pickup truck collided with a hydro pole, causing a power outage in the area. Police spoke with the driver and determined that their ability to operate a motor vehicle was impaired by alcohol. The driver was placed under arrest and transported to a local OPP Operation Centre for further testing. A 28-year-old Kitchener man was charged with ‘operation while impaired -alcohol or drug’ and ‘operation while impaired – 80 plus.’ A 90-day licence suspension and seven-day Vehicle Impoundment were initiated. The accused is scheduled to appear in the Ontario Court of Justice – Guelph on March 16 to answer to the charge.

FEBRUARY 27

2:00 AM | Wellington County OPP responded to a single-vehicle collision near Church Street West in Elora, where the vehicle went down an embankment at the end of a dead-end street and came to a stop on a walking trail. While speaking with the driver, officers formed the opinion that the driver was under the influence by alcohol. A roadside screening test was conducted which resulted in a fail. The driver was arrested and underwent further testing. The 51-year-old Brampton man was charged with ‘operation while impaired – 80 plus’ and ‘possession of a controlled substance – cocaine.’ His licence was suspended for 90 days and vehicle impounded for a week. He is to appear in the Ontario Court of Justice – Guelph on March 30.

10:13 AM | Police received a report of a theft from a motor vehicle in Wellesley Township. It is believed that an unlocked vehicle was entered sometime overnight between February 25 and February 26. Nothing was taken from the vehicle. Anyone with information is encouraged to call police at 519-570-9777 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. 

MARCH 1

1:13 PM | Police responded to a rear-end collision involving two vehicles at Arthur Street and Listowel Road in Elmira. Damage was minor and there were no injuries reported.

2:55 PM | Waterloo Regional Police responded to a report of a collision in Wellesley Township. A semi-truck was travelling north on Hutchison Road, just north of Hessen Strauss, when strong gusts of wind caused the trailer to start swaying over the road. The driver was travelling at slow speeds due to the gusts of wind, ice on the road and drifting snow, but was unable to take control of the trailer, causing the semi-truck and trailer to jackknife and block the road. The region was notified, and barricades were set up until salters could de-ice the roads. The truck and trailer were assisted back onto the roadway by tow crews. The driver did not sustain any physical injuries.

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