Christmas may be one of the most wonderful times of year, but it can also be a time for scammers and opportunists to prey on others. 

"Christmastime, unfortunately it's a great time of year," shared Police Chief Paul Ladouceur, "but we do sometimes see an increase in theft and break and enters and things like that. One of the most common offences we see at Christmastime is gifts being stolen from vehicles and an increase in shoplifting."

"A message to shop-owners, is keep an eye on your customers, secure your stores. Big ticket items, don't leave them by the front door."

"As far as citizens go, when you're shopping, don't leave presents visible in your vehicle. It goes without say, common sense, don't leave your car unlocked. If you do have gifts and you arrive at home, don't leave them in the car overnight, take them in the house and don't leave them exposed in the windows where someone going up to your porch could look in your front window and see that there is a tree with a bunch of gifts under it." 

"The police are on patrol in neighbourhoods during the winter. If you are going away, let your neighbours know that you're going to be gone so they can keep a watchful eye over your property while you're away."

Ladouceur also cautions that this is the time of year when more scammers try and defraud people. 

"If somebody is calling you and offering you a fantastic deal on something, question it. it's unfortunate that we have to do that but we still see people getting duped time and time again over scams."

"One of the most recent ones that I received personally was the bank telling me that there was an e-transfer that was being returned to my account because it didn't go through."

He went on to describe that he was provided a link to go to and provide information.

"In those types of situations, call your bank. You have the right to do that. Banks understand that and most banks appreciate the call because it alerts them to some of the scams that are going on out there so they correct it and take action internally as well."

"Really be cognizant of that this time of year." 

He also added that CRA scams are very common as well. The CRA will never ask for payment of taxes by ITunes cards or prepaid credit cards. 

"When in doubt, give us a call, we're happy to walk you through it. We'd much rather get a five minute phone call from someone than deal with a criminal investigation of a major fraud which takes hours and hours. It's never a problem to call your local police."  

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