2 Articles – On Fraud: 1) Fraud In Auto, Credit Card, Mortgage Sectors Rise Amid Interest Rate Hikes AND 2) Bank Investigator Scam Making The Rounds: South Simcoe Police

  1. Fraud In Auto, Credit Card, Mortgage Sectors Rise Amid Interest Rate Hikes

Courtesy of Barrie360.com and Canadian PressPublished: Sep 22nd, 2023

New data suggests an uptick in fraud in the auto, credit card and mortgage sectors is driven by growing financial pressures on consumers and by fraudsters using bold schemes.

An Equifax Canada report shows fraud in the automotive sector has surged 28 per cent, year−over−year, while the credit cards saw a jump of 37.9 per cent. The mortgage sector saw an 18.8 per cent increase in the fraud rate.

Carl Davies, head of fraud and identity at Equifax Canada, says if interest rates remain high, the trends in fraudulent activities could accelerate in the months ahead.

He says factors such as the supply chain woes in the auto industry have also encouraged fraudsters and thieves to be more brazen in targeting auto dealerships, alongside identity fraud in applications.

Davies says auto theft rings are more cunning than ever in using convincing fake identification, and auto dealers should improve their verification processes to prevent fraud.

The report says fraudsters are using synthetic identities, which are a combination of real and fake details, making up for 68.5 per cent of all fraudulent credit card applications.

2. Bank Investigator Scam Making The Rounds: South Simcoe Police
ReleasePublished: Sep 21st, 2023

News release – South Simcoe Police

The South Simcoe Police Service is warning residents the bank Investigator scam is circulating in our communities.
In this scam, victims are advised of alleged suspicious activity on their bank account, credit card, or told their banking information has been compromised. The scammer, impersonating a bank official or police officer, asks the victim to help catch a bank employee who has been stealing money. Suspects trick victims into providing their own cash to assist the investigation. Victims are told to withdraw cash from their account and purchase gift cards to help catch the criminal. The scammer tells them not to let the bank teller know what they’re doing because the teller might be involved.  Scammers bombard victims with information to cause panic, confusion and prompt immediate action. Often, callers pass victims to multiple suspects on the phone who pose as supervisors or police.

The South Simcoe Police Service is reminding residents that financial institutions or police will never ask you to help in a fraud or internal investigation.  If you receive such a call from someone claiming to be from your financial institution or law enforcement, hang up and call police. Remember, any request to purchase gift cards –  for any reason – is a red flag and the source of all such requests should be verified. Unfortunately, there are many variations of the bank investigator scam. Always protect your personal information. Trust your instincts. If something sounds suspicious or too good to be true, it probably is a scam.  Please share this information and discuss this scam with loved ones. If you or a family members has fallen victim to this scam, report it to police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

Patricia Dent

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