BY KELLY ROCHE
A mystery shopper scam has the Financial Services Commission of Ontario warning consumers and insurers to be on guard.
A company named My Shop Inc., which also goes by the name My Shop Ltd., is allegedly sending letters and cheques appearing to be from Allstate Insurance Company of Canada.
Recipients are asked to deposit the cheque and send the confirmation or deposit receipt to the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
“These are fraudulent cheques and not authorized by Allstate, nor is Allstate affiliated with My Shop Inc., in any way,” reads a statement released by FSCO Wednesday, noting this type of scam is a version of an advance fee fraud.
“Consumers should exercise caution if they are contacted by anyone from these coordinates and are encouraged not to deposit the cheque or contact the company,” the statement continues.
Recipients are asked to forward copies of any materials received to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
Allstate has published a warning notice on its website, however, other insurance companies may potentially become targets.
FSCO’s website contains a list of all insurance companies and agents licensed to do business in Ontario.
Peel Police have charged a St. Catharines man in connection with a tax fraud scam targeting a senior in Brampton.
The suspect contacted the victim on Jan. 6, claiming to be from the Canada Revenue Agency, said police, threatening to issue an arrest warrant if back taxes weren’t immediately paid.
The victim complied and deposited money into an account provided.
The victim then contacted police and the suspect was arrested at a financial institution in Brampton.
Anas Belal, 23, is charged with fraud over $5,000.
Police are advising residents to contact the CRA directly to determine the status of their tax status before taking any action and report all instances of fraud.
Anyone who believes they’ve been targeted can contact fraud investigators at (905) 453-2121 ext. 3335. The tax fraud scam is trending in Ottawa, too.
Tips can also be directed to Crime Stoppers 1-800-222-8477.