Retail worker helps senior avoid scam

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An employee at Canadian Tire in Simcoe helped a senior resident avoid becoming the victim of a $4,000 scam on July 8.

Police say the senior received a call from an unknown male saying they were from Microsoft and the victim had a virus on their computer. The victim allowed remote access to their computer at which time they were told to purchase $4,000 in gift cards to help clear the viruses that had been detected.

The employee at Canadian Tire recognized the scam and contacted police. No gift cards were purchased.

Police are urging members of the community to hang up if they are on the receiving end of a phone call claiming there is a virus on a computer.

OPP provided a list of ways to stay protected from scams:

  • Don’t accept anything at face value – if it sounds unlikely or too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Recognize the signs – if you’re being pressured to act, disclose personal details or send money to a stranger, it’s almost certainly a scam. For example, Microsoft never makes unsolicited phone calls about its products.
  • Act quickly – contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 and stop scammers in their tracks.
  • Never respond. Just simply hang up the phone and report this incident to the OPP and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at www.antifraudcentre.ca.

For more information and tips on how to prevent fraud, visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website at www.antifraudcentre.ca.

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