Monday, 11 March 2019 10:42

List of Attempted Scams

The following is a list of descriptions of scams that have been carried out or attempted within our BIA and a couple of other BIAs. Be aware, and if in doubt, call whatever company back at whatever number you have on file for them.

People are calling up businesses claiming to be Toronto Hydro stating they have not paid their bills and somebody is coming to turn off their power in the next hour if they do not pay the bills(via credit card over the phone). They sound very convincing. I almost fell for it. I googled the phone number they gave me and discovered that the number is being used in a scam.

I confirmed with Toronto Hydro that they do not call up people and threaten to cut there power off if they do not pay the bills with a credit card over the phone.

If you do get a call like this, please get the phone number they are calling from and report it to Toronto Hydro and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Agency at 1-888-495-8504


Saturday caller, saying he's absent neighboring shop-owner, ("Tom"), asks if can we hold expected courier parcel for him?

Sometime before closing, hasty "courier" rushes in with "parcel", cashier signs for it, courier hurriedly asks for the $180 "due!"

Cashier innocently pays out cash on trust, for neighbor "Tom"!

Finds out next day, there's no "Tom" next door, receipt is pure garbage, the heavy sealed package is old rubbish catalogues!


Late-40's, clean-shaven Caucasian male, 5ft 10in, wearing a Maple Leafs cap, "courier" bag across his back, from which he took out the "package". Apologized for Saturday delivery, saying he was delayed with his Friday deliveries. Affected an air of casual interest in the Store, and....its timings! Suave.

Watch out - very smooth operator! Could be a pair.


Someone said they were from Hydro and were cutting me off within 15 minutes unless I paid for an outstanding charge - $698 for an upgraded smart meter. It sounds legitimate enough that it had me initially.


I had someone named Michael Smith calling from Hydro saying that they had trouble with their system and have not received my payments. they were going to shut down my electricity in half an hour if I didn't pay.

I asked them to give me my account number, name and address, and invoice number. Of course, they had no idea.


I received a call at 11am from a person claiming to be the Business owner of <redacted> which is two stores down from me. He informed me that he was running late to work and there was a delivery man that was at his door, his staff could not pay him because they didn't have any cash at the time because they had not open the doors. He inquired if I could pay the delivery man and he would pay me back after he arrived at work. I said sure and he said he would send the delivery man over to pick up the money.

After the business owner failed to show up to pay me back, I figured work got busy and he forgot, to my surprise I discovered that he had no idea what I was talking about.


This afternoon a well dressed man, he had a mustache and apparently smelled very badly like fish, came in to the shop went immediately to a row of small items, took one to the cash and indicated he wanted to take it. My staff person rang it up, it came to just over $20. The man pulled out a $100 bill. The staff person asked if he had smaller, he feigned that he didn’t really speak English, she asked again, he opened his wallet and showed it was filled with a wad of only “$100 bills” (!) she took the bill and gave him the change. He then gave a surprised exclamation and said no, indicated he didn’t want the item after all and so the staff person gave him the $100 back and asked for the money she had given him as change- he gave some back but it was short $20. She explained it wasn’t the full amount, he continued to act as if he didn’t understand, eventually opened his wallet again to show the “$100’s” but no $20’s. He then began walking around behind the cash and trying to open the cash draw at which point she told him to leave and put herself between the draw and him, and he left, but with the missing $


The usual Toronto hydro scam, only this time they didn’t ask for a credit card out right but saying they were coming in 45 minutes to shut off the power as they hadn’t received payment ( my staff person wouldn’t be in a position to know whether it was paid or no, which it is!) they gave a phone number and a “technician ID” but she eventually figured out it was a bluff when the man kept asking her to give the business address so they would know “where to send their technician”


Two women in their mid forties, walked into my jewelry shop - both dark haired - around 5.8. One heavy set with black hair and one thin with long light brown highlighted hair.
One asked to go to the bathroom with our staff member. The other thought she was alone. When I appeared from the back office, she jumped. She knew my name from my online profile. They distracted us (one even removed her coat to shop some more) and stole about $300-$400 worth of jewelry. I had a feeling the whole time and attempted to watch. They bought something for $50 - mainly as another distraction. As they were leaving, I told them a necklace was missing from my charm bar. They said they’d help me find it. They did not. They left. Security footage confirmed it was a ‘scheme’ and they had stolen 4 or 5 items totally around $250-$500.


Today we received a call from an alleged Toronto Hydro service guy informing us that he would be coming at 1 pm to take away our new ‘smart’ meter since we had not paid for it since they had upgraded it in January ( they did not) which was mandated by the city. He said they had sent numerous notices ( they did not) to us without response from us.

He was on his way to do the work and it would mean turning off our power for 4-6 hours.

I protested and said that was ridiculous and that the work would have to be rescheduled especially since it was Saturday . He gave me a (ghost) Toronto Hydro (not) number to call, and I spoke to his ‘supervisor and after a while I suggested that this was a scam and if anyone came near my meter I would call the police. He said I would be in big trouble with the city and would be fined. This ‘upgraded’ meter had to be paid to his company, not on our hydro bill.

Anyway, I called the Toronto Hydro’s posted number on their web site and they told me that this is a scam and they already had one call from another customer down the street. She suggested I call the police which I did. Seems it is a big scam that they are targeting seniors and immigrants.


Got a call saying they were from TD visa Centre, gave a “employee number” and that the last visa we had manually entered had been “erased” from their end because someone on our end had “hit the enter key too quickly” and that they needed me to give them the card details over the phone for them to “make sure the funds got deposited to my account”.... I could easily see one of my staff getting sucked in because they have no reason to understand how card processing works etc…


We have this guy who will run into businesses in a panic saying "we know each other - I own victory fitness down in the beaches, my ex wife has my kids and I need $22.50 to get a taxi to pick them up from that awful woman


We get shoplifters - usually two: one steals while the other acts as a decoy.

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