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GTA woman charged for prize fraud scheme executed in Niagara Region

OPP arrested a Caledon woman after money was bilked from a Niagara resident in a million-dollar prize scheme. Don Mitchell / Global News

A woman from the GTA is facing a fraud charge in connection with a prize fraud scheme that bilked thousands from a Niagara resident in 2021.

Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and Niagara Regional Police (NRPS) say the scam happened earlier in 2021 when a victim received a phone call telling them they had won a multi-million-dollar prize.

Investigators say the suspect asked for cash from an unsuspecting resident to cover fees to release the prize.

After the victim complied and sent a first payment, they reached out to NRPS when a second request for money was made.

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“At that point, the victim became suspicious and reported the incident to police,” detectives said in a release on Monday.

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A 53-year-old from Caledon has been charged with fraud over $5,000 and is set to appear in front of a justice in Orangeville at a later date.

OPP and NRPS investigators are urging residents to watch out for and report scams from people they don’t know who request money.

“Any lottery or sweepstakes that asks for upfront fees is a scam,” investigators said.

“If you didn’t enter a contest, you didn’t win — no matter what you may be told.”

Recipients of possible fraudulent calls, texts or emails are encouraged to report the incident to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or on the centre’s website.

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