Canadian police are reminding people to be vigilant online after they assisted with an international fraud investigation resulting in the arrest of 23 people by police in various cities in Spain. During raids in five cities on May 2, 2012, officers from Spain’s National Police (Agentes de Policía Nacional) charged 23 Spanish, Nigerian, and Romanian nationals as part of a mass marketing scam.
According to the Spanish police, the suspects allegedly sent thousands of emails to potential victims advising that the recipient had either won a Spanish lottery prize or were the recipient of a pending inheritance from an unknown relative. The victims had been duped into believing they were paying administration fees or taxes to receive the prize or inheritance. Police allege two (2) million Euros had been collected during the scams at the time of the arrests.
“The OPP continues to support complex, multi-jurisdiction investigations with our domestic and international law enforcement partners. This is another great example of our excellent relationships paying dividends,” stated Deputy Commissioner Scott TOD, OPP Investigations and Organized Crime.
Members of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) assigned to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre assisted with coordinating information when five (5) Canadian citizens were identified as victims. Police admit other Canadian victims could be involved, but may be reluctant to come forward. Among the other identified victims were residents of Germany, Denmark, Austria, United States, Portugal, India, and Italy.
“Consumers should not open unsolicited emails. Spam usually means scam and the message may contain a virus that can damage your computer. An educated consumer remains the best defence against fraud,” said Detective Inspector Paul BEESLEY, Manager — OPP Anti-Rackets Branch.
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre located in North Bay, Ontario is jointly managed by the RCMP, the OPP, and the Competition Bureau of Canada. If you suspect that you or someone you know has been a victim of fraud, contact your local police service, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501, visit the Anti-Fraud Centre, or call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).
FRAUD…Recognize it…Report it…Stop it!