Sherbrooke police warn residents about uptick in fraud phone calls

By Michael Boriero, Local Journalism Initiative
Sherbrooke police warn residents about uptick in fraud phone calls

Sherbrooke residents, specifically folks over 70 years old, are being targeted by suspicious phone calls involving fake bank or credit union employees, and the local police is urging everyone to stay on high alert.
According to a press release, the Sherbrooke Police Service (SPS) has noticed the return of a disturbing trend in the city. Folks are receiving phone calls from people pretending to work for a bank, for example, notifying victims that both their debit and credit cards have been defrauded.
The fake employee will ask a victim to hand over their cards and personal identification number (PIN) to a delivery person who just happens to be standing in front of their home, or to simply place them in their mailbox. Four cases this week alone involved victims over 70 years old.
The SPS noted with this type of fraud, suspects can be insistent. The rule of thumb is to hang up immediately and call the police to report any suspicious activity. SPS spokesperson Benoit Pellerin told The Record the amounts stolen from victims are usually between $500 and $2,000.
When asked how often the police are able to track down suspects, Pellerin said the arrest rate is unfortunately low. There have been province-wide fraud rings busted up in Montreal in the past, but those were large scale, he explained, adding locally it is difficult to pinpoint a suspect.
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