Officers from the Lanark County Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are once more warning the public to protect their personal and financial information against unsolicited requests for payment.

Lanark County OPP Officers have received a numerous complaints about different phone and computer scams throughout January and the rate appears to be increasing in the last week of the month.

The two ongoing scams of (a) relative arrested or stranded abroad needing money forwarded (b) computer access being blocked apparently by Law Enforcement Agencies (usually the Royal Canadian Mounted Police or OPP) until a “fine” is paid, have been joined by a new phone scam and another method of gaining remote access to a personal computer.

The phone scam involves the caller saying they are from “Ontario Hydro” and that the recipient is eligible for a refund (usually $600) and that a time will be arranged for someone to come and check the meter and then the victim is asked to provide a lot of information about their home and banking.

The computer remote access to banking is committed by means of a bogus ”pop up” virus alert stating that the computer is unprotected and to provided financial information to pay for the “security system”.

Hydro One staff do not identify themselves as “Ontario Hydro” and would not deal with any rebate by calling the customer and seeking financial information.

Established computer protection software can be purchased from reputable stores, avoid any “pop ups” soliciting funds.

The public is reminded not to provide any personal or financial information to any unsolicited source, either phone or via computer or messaging.