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Over $150,000 lost to the “service scam” in Ontario last year

One of the most persistent and pervasive scams going is the service scam. Service scams typically involve offers to provide telecommunications, Internet, finance, medical and energy services. This may also include extended warranties, insurance, and door-to-door sales. Although 95 per cent of the crimes go unreported, service scams generated 422 Ontario complaints to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre in 2015, concerning 199 victims who suffered losses totaling almost $150,000.

Police are warning the public of a very effective and popular scam, where computer service is offered. In this scenario, the scammer often gains access to your home computer and introduces a virus to it in order to create the problem that needs to be serviced. If you were using your computer when you got scammed, it is possible that a virus or other malicious software is still on your computer. Run a full system check using reliable security software. Scammers may have also gained access to your online passwords. Change these using a secure computer.

If you or someone you know suspect they’ve been a victim of a service scam, contact your local police service. You can also file a complaint through the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

 

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