A Toronto woman is facing charges after a year-long investigation by Waterloo Regional Police that began after a number of seniors from across Southern Ontario said they were duped out of more than $1 million.
Police say they began the investigation in October 2022 after learning that a group of people had been targeting elderly people in a complex scam to remove the equity from their homes
“Victims were offered financial assistance, which resulted in a string of mortgages over a short period of time,” a police spokesperson told Global News.
“The mortgages were in the form of a reverse mortgage, followed by one-year term, pre-paid interest-only private mortgages, where no monthly payments were required.”
A woman, who is from the North York area of Toronto, was arrested last Friday and charged with fraud over $5,000.
Police say the victims, who collectively lost more than $1 million, were from Kitchener, Brant County, Toronto, Burlington and Welland.
But police believe there may be more victims out there, so they are asking anyone who believes that they may have been a victim of the scam to call them. They also noted potential victims can file a report with the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services on the.
They also provided some safety tips to consider when receiving unsolicited calls or door-to-door sales pitches.
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Police say to not let salespeople into your home unless you have contacted them first and for a reason.
They also warn not to be confused if you receive a call that offers free services or items.
If a salesperson is in your home, and you are not comfortable with them being there, police say to contact them immediately.
Police also say that if you sign into a contract, you can get a title search conducted on your home, which will provide you with information on any liens on your home.
Finally, police also suggest speaking with any seniors or vulnerable people in your life to ensure they have not fallen victim to these types of scams.
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