OPP respond to alleged assault, thefts in Huntsville area, and raise fraud awareness

March 31: Huntsville OPP newsbites and OPP message for Fraud Prevention Month

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Woman charged after another dragged out of pizza store

Police report a 34-year-old Huntsville woman will appear in court in Huntsville April 7 to answer charges of assault after a weekend incident. The report from the Huntsville OPP states a customer was waiting on a pizza order at the Pizza Pizza on Main Street when another customer began yelling at her. The customer was then allegedly grabbed by the hair and dragged out of the restaurant by the second woman who was later found and charged with assault.

Car broken into at Arrowhead Provincial Park

Police are investigating a break in of a car parked at Arrowhead Provincial Park last Thursday afternoon. Unknown culprits smashed a car window to make off with a purse containing Canadian and American cash, a cell phone and all of the victim’s personal identification. Huntsville OPP would like to remind people to secure all of valuables out of sight as to not entice any would be thieves. Also remember to lock it or lose it wherever you park your car.

Generator stolen from hunt camp in Lake of Bays Township

There’s also been a break in at a hunt camp on Martencamp Lake in the Township of Lake of Bays.  The hunt camp was last checked the first week of March and on Thursday, it was discovered it had been targeted by thieves.  Taken from the hunt camp was a generator, Generac model #4000EXL, valued at approximately $800, along with a set of Faber snow shoes that use the old wooden style frame. The hunt camp is in a remote area that can only be reached by snowmobile.

Anyone with any information about either theft is asked to contact Huntsville OPP or Crime Stoppers.

Preventing fraud due to identity theft

March is Fraud Prevention Month and the OPP has issued a warning about identity theft, saying fraud prevention remains a top priority for police and financial service providers. Below is the release from the OPP to raise awareness of identity theft and payment card fraud.

March is Fraud Prevention Month – a final reminder from OPP

OPP Release: As part of Fraud Prevention Month, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) believes greater awareness can help prevent consumers from becoming victims of fraud through identity theft and payment cards.

Typical identity theft cases include situations where government documents — such as drivers’ licences, health cards, Social Insurance Number (S.I.N.) cards and birth certificates — have been unlawfully obtained or forged. Criminals can use your stolen identity documents to:

·        access your computer and email accounts

·        access your bank accounts, open new bank accounts or transfer bank balances

·        apply for loans, credit cards and other goods and services

·        make purchases

·        hide their criminal activities

·        obtain passports or receive government benefits.

According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC), in 2013 there were 6,275 complaints of identity theft in Canada. Of those complaints, 4,898 victims were identified and their combined financial losses exceeded $11-million.

The consequences of having your identity compromised can have lasting effects on your life including potential employers, individual finances and credit ratings, and your dealings with government and other agencies.

The OPP Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau – Identity Crimes Unit also makes use of stronger legislative tools with which to charge criminals for possessing the personal information of others and prevent it from being used for fraud or theft.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of identity or payment card fraud, contact your local police service or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

“Knowledge is power. Consumers can take some basic steps to better protect themselves from becoming a victim, such as never giving out personal information over the phone or over the internet if you are not sure with whom you are dealing, or by only carrying the identification documents that you need,” says Detective Inspector Paul Beesley of the OPP Anti-Rackets Branch.

FRAUD…Recognize itReport it …Stop it.

FAST FACTS ABOUT FRAUD

·        Mass-marketing fraud (MMF) in Canada and particularly Ontario continues to grow at an alarming pace.   A 2008 study by the Environics Research Group concluded that two-thirds of Canadians have been targeted by criminal mass marketers.

·        The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) reports that, in 2013, more than 31,000 Canadians reported that they had fallen prey to organized criminal fraudsters for a total reported loss of over $63-million.

·        Almost one-third of complaints to the CAFC come from Ontarians who suffered a reported loss of $31 million to criminal mass-marketers in 2013.

·        The CAFC estimates that mass-marketing fraud reporting rates are less than 5% of actual victims.  Losses to Ontarians from mass marketing fraud in 2013 are estimated to have exceeded $600-million — or close to $2-million per day.  Many of these real dollar losses occurred to individual, ordinary Ontarians who may lose all or a significant portion of their life’s savings.

LEARN MORE

OPP – March is Fraud Prevention Month

OPP Crime Prevention Section — Tip Sheet

The OPP Identity Crimes Unit has a number of tips and contacts to help you avoid becoming a victim of identity theft at this link.

Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (formerly Phonebusters) – Identity Theft

For a Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre Identity Theft Victims’ Guide, click here  (PDF file)

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