The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) is warning consumers about a mail scam using the Aviva Canada logo, address and name.
Both Aviva Canada and the regulator say letters that are designed to look like they have come from a law firm in Spain are currently circulating with the promise of a large payout from an estate sharing the same last name as the addressee. The letters ask the recipient to contact the author for more details.
FSCO says this type of scenario is commonly involved in an advance fee fraud. Advance fee schemes can use the following tactics:
- An individual or company receives a letter or fax from an alleged “official” representing a foreign government or agency;
- An offer is made to transfer a sum of money, possibly millions of dollars in “over invoiced contract” funds, into the individual or company’s bank account;
- There may be an encouragement to travel overseas to complete the transaction;
- Blank company letterhead, forms, bank account information, telephone/fax numbers and other personal information may be requested;
- Perpetrators provide numerous documents with official looking stamps, seals and logos testifying to the authenticity of the proposal;
- Up-front or advance fees for various taxes, attorney fees, transaction fees or bribes are requested;
- In some cases, perpetrators may send nominal amounts of money to the intended victim, in order to establish his/her confidence;
- Once the perpetrators have received an initial up-front fee, requests to invest additional funds to complete the transaction follow;
- Other forms of schemes include: c.o.d. of goods or services, real estate ventures, purchases of crude oil at reduced prices, beneficiary of a will, beneficiary of a life insurance policy, recipient of an award and paper currency conversion.
Any consumer receiving such correspondence is asked to contact the Aviva Ombudsman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-877-689-3634.