‘Fraud lab’ targets Beach neighbourhood

Property seized in Toronto Police Services "fraud lab" investigation.

Toronto police are warning Beachers about a mail fraud scam targeting the Beach neighbourhood.

A “fraud lab” was discovered in the Bloor Street East and Parliament Street area following a “lengthy investigation which included mail theft and countless identity thefts at local Money Marts in Toronto,” said police in a press release today. “A number of items were discovered among the technology and computers [at the site].”

Police said they are increasingly concerned about a rise in identity theft investigations, particularly as a result of mail theft, which has become an issue in the GTA.

“The Beach area of the city is one of the targets of this type of fraud and it is imperative that the community is warned about these predators,” said police.

Documents that can be found in a “fraud lab” include:

– financial statements, bank documents and cheques stolen from the mail,
– fake driver’s licences generated and created in the victims’ names,
– fake bank statements generated,
– fake SIN cards,
– fake government identification,
– bills and tenancy documentation stolen from the mail,
– pay cheques, blank cheques and direct deposit statements,
– student loan documents and bank loan documents, and
– T4 slips, tax returns and medical documents.

Property seized in Toronto Police Services "fraud lab" investigation.
Property seized in Toronto Police Services “fraud lab” investigation.

“Protect your mail, shred your documents,” said police. “Protect yourself accordingly. We put blinds on our windows, locks on our doors but, most importantly, we need to protect our identification. Put a lock on your mailbox and shred the items that expose your name and identifiers. Identity theft has become the crime of today.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-5507, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at www.222tips.com, text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637). Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes, Google Play or Blackberry App World.

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