Police warn of fraudulent cheque scam

Last updated on Jun 01, 23

Posted on Jun 01, 23

3 min read

Waterloo Regional Police issued a warning after receiving reports of young people throughout the Waterloo Region becoming victims of cheque fraud via instant messaging applications.

In this scam, the fraudster sends a message about a money-making opportunity, via an instant messaging application, to the victim. The fraudster asks the victim to deposit a cheque for them and tells them to keep a portion of the funds after e-transferring the other portion of the funds to the fraudster. The fraudster provides photos of the front and back of a cheque. The victim then auto-deposits the cheque, which initially provides them access to the funds, but results in the loss of funds or causes the victim’s account to be overdrawn after the cheque later bounces, police explained in a release.

In one case on May 19, a Kitchener youth became a victim of this scam after receiving a message from a fraudster. The victim was asked to cash a cheque for $1,200 and was instructed to keep $600 and to e-transfer the remainder to the fraudster. The victim also shared the messaging application contact with friends, who subsequently became victims after depositing fraudulent cheques.

Police advise the public to consider the following tips to help protect themselves from fraudulent cheque scams:

A general warning sign is when someone gives you a cheque and asks you to send some of the funds elsewhere. If you are told that you will receive money and to forward part or all of that money to someone else for any purpose, know that this is a scam – no matter how reasonable the explanation.

Whether you are accepting funds or making payments, it's always important to be comfortable with the transaction and aware of who you are accepting cheques from.

Do not spend money from any cheque until the money has been cleared from the financial institution (bank or credit union) the cheque is being drawn upon.

If you believe you have been a victim of a similar scam, you can file a complaint with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre or contact Waterloo Regional Police at 519-570-9777.

MAY 24

8:25 AM | Waterloo Regional Police received a report of a suspicious vehicle in the area of Line 86 between Katherine Street North and Wollis Road. The vehicle was observed on the south shoulder of Line 86. The vehicle then made a U-turn into the westbound lane behind a bicycle. The vehicle honked at the cyclist, who pulled over onto the shoulder to let the vehicle pass. The vehicle then pulled over onto the shoulder behind the bicycle. The cyclist resumed biking on the shoulder of the road, and the vehicle then drove past and left the area. The vehicle was described as a black GMC pickup truck. The driver was described as a white male with a medium build, grey hair and was wearing a black jacket. Officers are looking to identify and speak to the individual that was driving the vehicle. Anyone with information or video of the incident is encouraged to call police at 519-570-9777. Anonymous tips can be provided to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or www.waterloocrimestoppers.com.

2:30 PM | A Wellington County OPP officer stopped a commercial motor vehicle on Glengarry Crescent in Fergus. While inspecting the truck, the officer observed multiple major defects. The truck was carrying several unsecured containers of used oil which were also leaking. Not only was the vehicle over its registered weight, but the unsecured containers also posed a huge safety risk to the motoring public.  As a result of the investigation, a 44-year-old Stratford resident was charged with ‘insecure load,’ ‘failing to ensure daily inspection is conducted,’ ‘improper tires’ and ‘improper license.’ A Stratford business was also charged with ‘permitting operation of vehicle – fail to display inspection sticker,’ ‘permit operation of commercial motor vehicle with load not secured,’ ‘no name on commercial vehicle’ and ‘permit operation of a commercial vehicle with major defect.’ The license plates were seized and the vehicle was taken out of service.

2:48 PM | A traffic stop was conducted by an officer on Parkside Drive in St. Jacobs. As a result of the investigation, the driver, a 36-year-old Cambridge man, registered an alert on roadside screening device and had his driver’s licence suspended for three days.

MAY 27

2:30 PM | Wellington County OPP and emergency services responded the scene of a three-vehicle collision on Highway 6 near Sideroad 9 involving a passenger vehicle, a pickup truck and a Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV). The driver of the passenger vehicle, an 86 year-old Wellington North Township resident, was transported to a local hospital where they were pronounced deceased. Three other people involved in the collision were transported to a local hospital with minor injuries.  Anyone who may have observed these vehicles prior to the collision, who observed the collision or who may have dashcam footage of the collision is asked to contact the Wellington County OPP at 1-888-310-1122.

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