ORILLIA, Ontario, February 3, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Anti-Rackets Branch is investigating an Internet-based fraud scheme and warning the public to exercise vigilance when dealing in business transactions with unknown individuals over the Internet and/or by telephone.
The investigation has revealed that an Ontario resident recently applied online to a job advertisement for an Accounting Assistant/Payment Representative position posted at an employment centre.
The position professed to involve working from home by contacting legitimate companies via the Internet on behalf of a fraudulent company and receiving cheques purportedly from these companies that were mailed to the new employee by the fraudulent employer. A company representative then instructed the victim via email or by telephone to deposit the cheques to her personal bank account and retain a 10 per cent fee for her work and the remainder of the money was to be deposited to a specified account or sent via email money transfer.
Fortunately, both the victim and her bank reported this matter to police when they became suspicious of the excessive amount on one of the cheques.
The investigation also revealed that the cheques received by the victim originated from legitimate Canadian businesses and the OPP have since linked these cheques to reported incidents of cheque theft and cheque duplication.
The OPP is warning the public to refrain from engaging in any business transactions with individuals they do not know, over the Internet, even if they provide a telephone number and email address.
If you have any information or if you are a victim of this scam, please report it to your local police service or contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Call Centre at: 1-888-495-8501 or online at www.recol.ca.
"The very first law in advertising is to avoid the concrete promise and cultivate the delightfully vague." - Bill Cosby