Charges laid after elderly couple targeted in $600K lottery fraud
Police have laid charges against a 37-year-old Brampton woman
York Regional Police are looking for the public's help in tracking down more suspects, after laying charges against a 37-year-old Brampton woman in connection with an alleged $600,000 lottery fraud targeting a couple in their 80s.
In a statement released Tuesday, police said their investigation, nicknamed "No Lotto Love," began in February 2016, when an 85-year-old woman approached them for help.
Police say she detailed how she and her 88-year-old husband had started receiving calls three years ago, informing them they had won a lottery they had entered.
"Initially both the victims were very cautious and hesitant and did not follow through with any of the requests that these individuals had made of them," said Const. Laura Nicolle in a YouTube video posted Tuesday by York Regional Police.
"Eventually, they started calling and being more persistent and aggressive with their efforts and convinced the victims to send money."
The alleged scammers told the couple the money would cover the costs of paperwork they claimed needed to be done so the husband and wife could collect their lottery winnings.
Over a span of three years, police said the victims were contacted repeatedly by multiple suspects with a series of scams, resulting in a total loss of approximately $600,000.
Investigation still ongoing
On Wednesday, May 25, 2016, police arrested and charged a 37-year-old Brampton woman with fraud over $5,000, possession of property obtained by crime, laundering proceeds of crime and conspiracy.
The accused is scheduled to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice in Newmarket on June 23, 2016.
Police say an investigation into additional suspects is still ongoing.
They are asking anyone who has had communication with the accused, or another suspect police identify as "Mr. McIntosh" to contact police.
Investigators believe that there are additional victims. They are asking anyone with information to contact the York Regional Police Major Fraud Unit at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 6612, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS, leave an anonymous tip online at www.1800222tips.com.
Police warn that residents should be cautious of potential scams and say people should always consult with a trusted friend or family member, or call the police before sending any money to strangers.