With Christmas approaching the online scammers are as busy as Santa’s elves. The Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) is investigating complaints from numerous residents who have received extortion letters from an unknown sender. Each of the envelopes also contained a small sealed bag containing a white powdery substance. The letters indicated this substance to be fentanyl, however initial police analysis has indicated it to be confectioner’s sugar.
The letters included threats to life and demanded that recipients send funds or harm would come to them and/ or their families (possibly by way of fentanyl poisoning).
The letters demanded the recipient send Bitcoin currency to a quick response code (QR code) included on the letter and demanded that the recipient attend a Bitcoin automated teller machine to transfer funds.
These letters were delivered by Canada Post mail to home addresses. It appears the letters were all delivered in the morning hours of Friday December 18, 2020.
Residents are advised that this is an extortion attempt are asked not to send any funds in relation to this letter.
The HRPS takes this situation very seriously and requests any residents (of Halton) receiving a similar extortion letter to contact the HRPS non-emergency line at 905- 825-4747 to make a report. An officer will be dispatched to attend the residence to pick up the envelope and its contents. Residents are encouraged to not handle the letter or bag containing the white powdery substance as much as reasonably possible and to place all items in a plastic bag prior to police pickup.
If anyone believes that they are being solicited for a potential fraud they are encouraged to review the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website. The website will provide information on a variety of fraudulent scams and how to respond to any potential solicitation. If you receive a fraudulent solicitation, do not panic. Take the time to collect your thoughts and think it through before sending any money.
Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to contact Detective Candido Moniz of the 3 District Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905-825-4747 ext. 2312 or 2316.
Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers. “See something? Hear something? Know something? Contact Crime Stoppers” at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca.?