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Toronto police issue two public safety alerts involving pickpockets and ticketing scams

DH Toronto Staff Feb 22, 2018 9:13 am 3,282

The Toronto Police Service are asking the public to be aware of several scams in the city.

According to police, the first is a pickpocket and credit card scam that is taking place in and around the downtown core.

Police say there have been multiple reports from people who have been victims of stolen wallets.

It is reported that the suspects target patrons who are dining at restaurants and food courts in the downtown area, specifically lunchtime crowds. Wallets are stolen from unattended purses and coats, which are left hanging on the back of chairs.

The victims’ debit cards and credit cards are subsequently used for unauthorized transactions worth thousands of dollars, and police say that in each incident, suspects wore baseball caps and glasses to avoid security cameras.

Right after cards are stolen, the suspects buy goods from retail locations nearby. Suspects have also used stolen identification to commit identity fraud.

“The Toronto Police Service would like to remind members of the public to have a secure PIN, and to be aware of your coats, purses, wallets and other property when dining in public spaces,” they say.

In addition to the pickpocketing, police are warning the public about online ticket scams.

Police reported that officers have received numerous complaints from people who have replied to online ads posted on buy/sell websites for the sale of event tickets.

According to police, the victims engaged in text-message conversations with the suspects to negotiate ticket sale prices, and money would then be sent via electronic money transfers to unknown suspects.

In all the cases reported, the suspects received the money transfers but sent nothing in return, and ceased communication with the victims.

Police are reminding the pubic that once an electronic transfer has been received and confirmed, financial institutions cannot stop or reverse the funds, and that they will not reimburse parties complaining of this scam.

“Event tickets are available for purchase through verified box offices at event venues, and on accredited ticket sales websites with clearly stated refund policies,” say police.

Anyone with information on either scam is asked to contact police at 416-808-5200, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online, or text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637).

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DH Toronto Staff

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