OPP has received an alert from the Robinson Huron Treaty Litigation Fund (RHTLF) about a new fraud targeting its members.
RHTLF reports that beneficiaries have been receiving letters with the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario, and RHTLF logos. The letters are requesting personal and banking information to confirm the individual's eligibility for settlement funds. The letter promises that money will be sent either by direct deposit or cheque once the information is received.
Police say RHTLF and the governments of Canada and Ontario have not started to make any settlement payments. They will also not ask for financial information by mail, e-mail, or text message.
"Frauds are always changing as scammers try and take advantage of new people and new situations, but you can help protect yourself by being aware of the tactics they use," says OPP Constable John Hill. "Be suspicious. If you feel pressured to give information or money, do not give in. Stop communicating with the person right away and reach out and talk to someone you trust."
Here are some tips for protecting yourself against scams:
- Do not open email from people you don't know. Try reaching out to the sender directly through their official email or phone number to make sure it is legitimate. Do not click on any links in an email unless you are sure it is safe.
- Look at the branding carefully. Scammers tend to use logos, email or postal addresses that are very similar to the real ones. Check carefully to see if there are slight differences in spelling or the logo in order to fool you.
- Be careful whenever there is a link. Malicious links can come from your friends and contacts if their accounts have been compromised.
- Secure your personal information. Before providing any personal information, such as your date of birth, Social Insurance Number, account numbers, or passwords, be sure the website is secure.
- Resist the pressure to act right away. Scammers often use urgency as a pressure tactic to get your information quickly. Please verify the credibility of an organization before sharing your personal information.
If you think a letter or message is a scam, please verify its credibility by contacting your First Nation office or email info@robinsonhurontreaty1850.