A Peterborough woman was scammed, police say, and was almost out more than $15,000 after being informed she had won $4 million in a lottery last summer.
Police say she would have lost the money had a relative not noticed that she fell for a scam.
Police say on July 19, the woman, who is in her 80s, received a call from a man stating she had won a lottery and a luxury car. The caller added that in order to claim her prizes, she had to deposit $15,000 into his bank account.
The woman made the deposit at a bank.
Police say the following day a relative noticed the transactions, which included two transfers totalling $927 and a $15,000 transfer.
“The relative attended the bank and was able to cancel the $15,000 bank draft before any funds had been withdrawn,” stated police spokesperson Lauren Gilchrist. “Police were contacted and began an investigation.”
The investigation helped police identify a suspect. Police say he attended the police station on Dec. 16 where he was placed under arrest.
Darren Sinclair, 27, of Shelby Cres., Mississauga, is charged with fraud over $5,000.
He appeared in court on Dec. 16, was remanded in custody and is scheduled to appear again in court on Monday.
The Peterborough Police Service is reminding people to be wary about calls about lottery winnings. Police offer these tips on avoiding becoming a victim of a fraudulent lottery:
- Legitimate lotteries do not require you to pay a fee or tax to collect winnings.
- Never send money to anybody you don’t know and trust.
- Don’t provide personal banking details to anyone that you do not know and trust.
- Examine all of the terms and conditions of any offer very carefully — claims of free or very cheap offers often have hidden costs. Calls to premium rate phone numbers or premium text messages can be very expensive.
- Ask yourself: “Did I enter this contest?” You cannot win money or a prize in a contest unless you have entered it yourself, or someone else has entered it on your behalf.