(ORILLIA, ON) – The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) in Central Region have regrettably seen an increase in internet related frauds which often begin as innocent long distance relationships and end with large sums of money being electronically sent, never to be seen again.
This faceless interaction is very disturbing as police have learned of life savings being sent to assist in trying to get someone to Canada or as in some cases, the ploy is focused upon them being detained at an entry point or Border Crossing where entry is denied to an unpaid fine.
The OPP strongly warn against long distance relationships that evolve from the internet. Giving specific details about yourself is not only dangerous, it equips an unknown person, who often misrepresents himself or herself in such a way that they are able to pull heartstrings in order to get to your purse strings. Once money is transferred or sent it is gone and cannot be replaced. These fraudsters are very good at what they do and are very convincing. The OPP suggests that you need to ask yourself, “is this too good to be true?” because in most cases, it is.
Persons who find themselves in this unfortunate and precarious position often have little recourse and not only is there money lost, but attempts to locate the fraudster who is responsible becomes very difficult. Real names are seldom used, accurate details about the person are seldom used and internet addresses can be easily shut down once the fraud has taken place.
The OPP acknowledges that the internet is a great resource and those who use it don’t always do so in a respectful and responsible manner. It has been used by opportunistic individuals in the past and this will continue in the future.
Please remember, information is power and with this information, you have the power to simply say “no” and keep what you have worked a lifetime for. Please protect yourself and if in doubt about anything that may be internet based, please contact your local OPP Detachment, Police Service or internet provider for assistance.