Windsor police intercept 700 letters in mass marketing fraud
Published Monday, June 24, 2013 11:51AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, June 24, 2013 3:41PM EDT
Windsor police are warning the public about a mass marketing fraud after intercepting over 700 letters containing sweepstake information and money.
A citizen contacted police on June 6 about a quantity of mail she had received at a Windsor UPS outlet.
“She goes to the UPS outlet because she has a business that's tied to that box,” says Const. Rob Durling. “Upon going there three weeks ago, there were 30 letters that had been put inside the P.O. box. There was no connection to her business, hence the phone call to Windsor police. “
Since then, the Windsor Police Financial Crimes Unit has intercepted about 700 pieces of mail from the P.O. box addressed to a company called Information Reporting Group.
Since then, the Windsor Police Financial Crimes Unit has intercepted about 700 pieces of mail destined to a company called Information Reporting Group.
The sweepstake in the letter claims that the consumer is entitled to $2.2-million US and in order to receive these funds, they need to send $20 US for processing.
Through investigation, police determined that the sweepstakes are of a fraudulent nature and are considered part of a mass marketing fraud.
Police say these frauds prey on the elderly and in this case, all of the victims are from the U.S. All of the labels contain American resident information from a number of states.
Investigators spoke to a number of victims between ages 65-85. With help from Canada Post, the United States Postal Service and the Canadian National Anti-Fraud Centre, investigators say the source of this mass mailing is outside North America, possibly coming from the Netherlands.
Police expect this marketing fraud to continue to grow in size over the coming weeks. They are urging anyone who receives one of these letters in the mail, by phone or email, to call the Windsor Police Financial Crimes Unit at 519-255-6700 ext.4330 and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.