RENFREW COUNTY – Fraudsters must think they are essential workers because they have not taken a day off during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Renfrew Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) investigated 173 calls for service between Feb. 8 to Feb. 15.

Arnprior and Renfrew OPP constables investigated 10 domestic disputes during the past week. One accused was charged with uttering threats and assault, and one accused was charged with mischief.

“If you or someone you know is living in or involved in an abusive relationship help is available,” OPP media relations officer Const. Amanda Carruthers released in a statement yesterday (Feb. 16).

Contact Bernadette McCann House 24/7 for support, advice or the safety of a shelter at 1-800-267-4930. The Women’s Sexual Assault Centre of Renfrew County is also available 24/7 for information and support at 1-800-663-3060. You can also attend the emergency department of any hospital in Renfrew County and ask to speak to a member of the Assault Response Team. Victim Services of Renfrew County is also available to provide emotional and practical assistance to people who have experienced domestic violence. They can be reached at 613-649-2852 or toll free at 1-877-568-5730. In emergencies call 9-1-1.

“On Feb. 8 and 9, Renfrew OPP investigated four calls for service where a fraudster identified themselves to the victims as an employee of the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA),” Carruthers said. “In one incident, the fraudster advised the victim their social insurance number had been compromised and was requesting personal information.”

In the second incident, the fraudster demanded the victim provide personal information and if they didn’t comply, a member of the CRA would attend their residence.

“The Renfrew OPP want the public to be aware there are dishonest people out there who want to take your money or steal your identity,” Carruthers said. “Persons receiving a call from an officer or enforcement agency can request a face-to-face meeting or tell the caller they will contact their local detachment or service to continue the conversation. Do not provide your social insurance number, bank account number or other personal information over the phone.”

Here are some warning signs:

  • Urgency: The fraudsters always make the request sound very urgent, which may cause the victim to not verify the story.
  • Request for Money Transfer: Money is usually requested to be sent by a money transfer company such as Money Gram, Western Union or even through your own bank institution.
  • The request of payment using gift cards: The fraudster will tell the victim to purchase various types of gift cards (iTunes, Google Play, Steam, Walmart) and then text them pictures of the card numbers.

“If you have shared personal information or banking details with scammers, contact your financial institution immediately to place alerts on your account,” Carruthers said. “If you have been defrauded, report it to the police or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.”

For further information or to report a fraud online, visit: www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca

“On Feb. 12, at approximately 6:30 p.m., Renfrew OPP were notified of a single motor vehicle collision on Cedar Haven Road in Whitewater Township,” Carruthers said. “The complainant advised the driver did not remain at the scene.”

Renfrew OPP officers located the driver, John Rytwinski, 59 of Whitewater Township, and he was subsequently charged with impaired driving, driving with a blood alcohol concentration over 80, failing to comply with probation order and failing to remain at the scene of a collision. The accused was released on an undertaking and is scheduled to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice in Renfrew on March 3.

The Renfrew OPP investigated 16 motor vehicle collisions during the past week.

  • a 58-year-old driver was charged for change lane-not in safety
  • a 40-year-old driver was charged for careless driving
  • a 67-year-old driver was charged for careless driving

“Crime Stoppers Pembroke/Renfrew County believes that someone may have information that could assist police in solving crimes,” Carruthers said. “If you have information that results in charges being laid, you qualify for an award of up to $2,000. Call Pembroke/Renfrew County Crime Stoppers at 613-735-8477 or toll free at 1-800-222-8477. You could help solve a crime. All tips remain anonymous and you will not have to attend court. Crime Stoppers does not subscribe to call display. The telephones are answered 24 hours a day.  Please visit the website www.valleytips.ca.”