With an increase of snowmobilers to the area, there is also an increase of thieves along the highways looking to steal pickup trucks, sleds, or everything altogether.
Generally speaking, these thieves are experienced and simple precautions are not enough to prevent a theft.
It is still a best practice to keep wallets and ID on you when in the backcountry instead of leaving them in the vehicle.
Other valuables like iPods, cellphones, and expensive accessories should be kept at home or in a motel room. It is also better to park in a well lit parking lot as opposed to parking out of the way or in the dark.
Further, it also helps police to have photographs and VIN numbers in the event that a sled does get stolen.
Often, recreation vehicles are not licenced and the owners don’t record numbers or make special markers to identify their sled.
This is sometimes problematic when a sled is recovered but cannot be linked with its rightful owner because a VIN number is in dispute.
What is spoofing?
Over the last few months, the Clearwater detachment has received calls from residents reporting phone calls that appear to be part of a scam, but the numbers are local to Clearwater.
This happens because of something called spoofing. A caller is able to re-program a caller-ID to make it look like they are calling from a local number.
This is done because in most cases, residents screen their calls. If the number appears to be local, then a person may be more inclined to answer it.
Whether you’ve won millions of dollars or receive a direct call from Microsoft, personal information should never be released.
If it’s a salesman on the other end of the line, a good deal can wait until after some due diligence on your part.
According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center (www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca) there were over 8,000 Canadian victims for a loss of $40 million as a result of mass marketing scams.
With respect to ID theft, there were over 14,000 Canadian victims for a loss of $8.6 Million.
According to the center, the top three reported scams include service scams (which promote or offer extended warranties, insurance, and sales services), prize pitches (which offer a prize after the purchase of some sort of product), or the emergency/grandparent scam (where the caller poses as a grandchild in need of immediate assistance).