BARRY’S BAY – Imagine meeting your soulmate online. They are eloquent and romantic. You haven’t met them in real life, but you just know that the two of you are meant to be.
But then one day, your online significant other runs into trouble. Their business is failing, they took a trip and got robbed, or they are just simply down on their luck. So, since you trust this person, you decide to loan this person some money. Then, as soon as you click “send,” you never hear back from the person you thought was the love of your life.
You might not be aware of it immediately, but in time you’ll discover you were scammed.
This is just one type of fraud that has been circulating online. Scammers prey on people who are looking for love and then steal thousands of dollars from their unsuspecting targets.
On March 15, Constable Catherine Yarmel was the guest speaker at the Opeongo Seniors Centre. She was there to speak about fraud prevention, specifically because March is Fraud Prevention Month. The event was made possible by a township-acquired grant.
“Fraud is becoming one of those types of calls for service that we are often seeing as a detachment,” Yarmel said. “Typically a lot of frauds come in the mail or as telephone calls that are unsolicited.”
She presented four short videos from YouTube which are approved by the OPP. They outlined phishing scams, emergency scams, romance scams and shopping fraud.