Elderly woman recovers $400k from fraudsters

Toronto Police Service Financial Crimes has recently identified and recovered more than $400,000 worth of currency and goods belonging to a victim of mass-marketing Fraud.

It is reported that:

  • an 85-year-old woman, of diminished mental capacity, was originally contacted by phone by unknown persons using the “lottery sweepstake scam”
  • the woman was told she had won a substantial amount of money and was only required to pay the taxes and other “recovery costs
  • the woman sold her residence in order to obtain sufficient funds to “pay off the fees” associated with her supposed lottery win
  • the unknown person ultimately disbursed approximately $600,000 of her savings to accounts within Ontario and across the world, before friends of the woman became aware of the situation

Toronto Police Service Financial Crimes investigators, in conjunction with the Office of the Public Trustee, the Peterborough Police Service and independent financial institutions, were able to locate where the woman had forwarded her funds, seized them and recovered approximately $20,000 worth of cellphones which the victim had been instructed to purchase, but which had not yet been shipped internationally. In addition $380,000 in funds was recovered.

TPS Financial Crimes wishes to remind people of the resources available to them to help identify fraud scams. The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre is available for victims or persons targeted by fraudsters to report the incident online or by phone at 1-888-495-8501. Victims of fraud should also report the incident to their local police service.

Anyone with information, questions or concerns regarding this incident, should contact Detective Alan Spratt at TPS Financial Crimes Mass Marketing Section at 416 808 7300.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-7300, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at www.222tips.com, or text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637). Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes, Google Play or Blackberry App World.

Please download the Toronto Police Service Mobile App for iOS or Android.

For more news, visit TPSnews.ca.