The Community Safety Coordinator for the North Bay Police has been spending time the last while showing interested residents how to crime-proof their homes.

Special Constable John Schultz has been encouraging people to make sure their doors and windows are secure so criminals have a harder time breaking in and they give up.

During this exercise, he also wants to talk to people about fraud.

Schultz says fraud is a growing crime across Canada and stresses people need to know how to protect themselves.

Schultz is a former Intelligence Analyst with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre which is located in North Bay.

He spent eight years in the position and has seen people victimized in many types of scams.

“There are horrific stories of people who lost a lot of money,” he said.

“These frauds are not perpetrated at big companies.  The frauds are perpetrated at our parents, neighbours and friends.”

Schultz says it will only take him a few minutes to explain the different types of frauds and how people can easily protect themselves.

At this time of year, a popular scam is the CRA con.

The “romance scam” is still used as is the “family scam,” in which a parent is called claiming a son or daughter needs immediate money to help them because they’ve been in an accident or have been jailed.

Schultz says these are all scams and says a little education is all you need to avoid being victimized.

He says a good place to start that awareness is going online to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre which lists the various types of frauds and how to avoid them.

He says anyone wanting to see him can call the department’s general inquiry number at 705-497-5555 and he’ll make arrangements to see you.

Schultz says another common fraud involves people coming up to your door and claiming to be someone they’re not.

When he comes knocking, he says homeowners can be confident that he’s a real police officer because he’ll be in full uniform and will also have a North Bay Police badge.