Despite continued warnings from police, people are still falling prey to the gift card scam.
In May, a 67-year-old Peterborough woman was scammed out of a total of $13,000 when she responded to a phone call from a man posing as a bank employee.
On May 1st, she received her first phone call from the scammer, who told the victim her bank account had been compromised, her funds frozen, and that she would have to forward money to him to access her accounts.
He then instructed her to go to different local convenience stores and purchase Google Play gift cards, and then provide him with their identification numbers.
On May 1st, she went to three different convenience stores in Peterborough, purchasing $7,000 worth of Google Play gift cards.
The next day, the scammer phoned the victim again and instructed her to purchase more gift cards. The victim purchased an additional $6,000 in Google Play gift cards from three more convenience stores.
The Peterborough Police Service reminds residents to use extreme caution when receiving a phone call, email, or text from a person stating you owe money or that your accounts have been frozen and that paying in gift cards will resolve the issue.
When in doubt, hang up and contact your bank or call a trusted family member or friend and ask them about the call. However, no legitimate bank or other business will ever ask you to pay for anything using gift cards.
To report a scam in which you have handed over money or personal information, call the Peterborough Police Service at 705-876-1122 or report it online.
To report an unsuccessful scam phone call, please call the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre toll free at 1-888-495-8501 or visit their online fraud-reporting system.