Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officers from the North Bay Crime Unit have charged two men after money from a Powassan bank account was removed and used in transactions totalling approx. $86,000.
Police first received the call on Oct. 26, 2020 and it was a later revealed that a bank card for the account had been issued in southern Ontario. The transactions included cash withdrawals, point-of-sale purchases, and money transfers.
Police have charged a 26-year-old man and a 27-year-old man with four counts Identity Theft, four counts of Theft Under $5000, and one count of Possession of an Identity Document.
The 26-year-old man was also charged with eight counts of Failure to Comply with Release Order. He was held and is scheduled to appear in bail court on Feb. 1.
The 27-year-old was released on an Undertaking and is due to attend court in Newmarket, Ont. on April 8.
Police are reminding the public that fraudsters impersonate financial and government agencies to call and gain access to your banking information.
The OPP has issued the following as guide to help educate the public on identity theft:
Traditional phishing emails, phone calls and text messages are designed to trick the victim into thinking they are dealing with a reputable company (e.g. financial institution, service provider, government).
Phishing messages will direct you to click a link for various reason, such as, updating your account information, unlocking your account, or accepting a refund.
The goal is to capture personal and/or financial information, which can be used for identity fraud.
Warning Signs - How to Protect Yourself
- Let unsolicited calls go to voicemail.
- Fraudsters use call-spoofing to mislead consumers. This technology is easily available. Never assume that the phone numbers appearing on your call display are accurate.
- Do not open or click the link in unsolicited emails or text messages.
- Look for spelling and formatting errors.
- Verify the hyperlink behind the link's text or button by hovering over the text.
- Do not click on any suspicious attachments as they can contain malware.