OPP Snowmobile Patrol Report Summarizing the 2020 – 2021 Snowmobile Season
“I have regularly received positive comments”
(MIDLAND, ON) – Members of the Southern Georgian Bay Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Snowmobile Patrol have winterized their snow machines for another season. The 2020 – 2021 snowmobile season started and ended during the COVID-19 pandemic casting its effects on social activities and health upon area residents, cottagers, tourists and snowmobilers alike. This created a high number of snowmobilers on area trails in part due to the number of new to the sport enthusiasts and fewer riders trailering to northern Ontario destinations.
In anticipation of an increase in outdoor winter activity, the Snowmobile Patrol was provided with more staff to provide increased trail coverage during the week and weekends along with more evening shifts.
The unit working in conjunction with uniform patrol officers in cars and joint patrols with other enforcement agencies to maximize our detachment resources providing a trail presence throughout our detachment area to provide outdoor enthusiasts the best on trail safety program possible. Officers provided 450 hours of on trail patrol, logging more than 5450 kilometers on their machines patrolling trails and ice surfaces policed by the detachment and responded to a variety of calls for service from December 2020 through to March 2021.
Officers were applauded by area snowmobile clubs for their dedication to trail safety while conducting 89 R.I.D.E. check stops checking and educating over 2500 riders for signs of impairment and warning 143 riders for non-serious violations. Sixty-six riders were cited for a variety of provincial offences along with 24 riders being cited for illegal exhaust systems and 8 riders were cited for trespassing offences.
Snowmobile operator safety educational efforts were supported by partnerships with safety minded educational committees and organizations such as the Mothers Against Drinking and Driving (MADD),12-Apr-2021 2:08pm Ontario Provincial Police – Police Provinciale de l’Ontario P Arrive Alive and the North Simcoe Safe and Sober Awareness Committeehttps://www.instagram.com/p/CLKMnEMFQ9-/ These partnerships along with the amazing efforts of our media partners in TV, Radio and Newspaper and their social media platforms constantly reminded snowmobile riders to Never Drive Impaired on our area trails along with messaging No Ice is Safe Ice.
“I have regularly received positive comments from community members and area elected officials about detachment officers patrolling the trails to maintain the safety of all users. The results speak for themselves as we did not have any snowmobile related deaths on our land-based trails this season.
Sadly although, we did lose three community members in two separate open water drowning incidents.
I applaud those riders who whether new or experienced, enjoyed our trails safely and without incident and we look forward to seeing you next season.” Inspector Joseph Evans, Interim Detachment Commander
AXLE BREAKS OFF TRAILER WHILE BEING TOWED IN MEAFORD
(MEAFORD, ON) – On April 10th, 2021 at 11:50 a.m. Grey Bruce Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) were dispatched to a traffic complaint involving a sport utility vehicle that was pulling a utility trailer on St. Vincent Street, in the Town of Meaford, in Municipality of Meaford.
The axle broke completely off from the trailer, causing the wheels and axle to skid across the sidewalk, landing in a residential driveway. The driver attempted to continue driving the trailer, with no wheels or axle, until they finally stopped on the shoulder of the roadway. Fortunately, there were no injuries.
Grey Bruce OPP have charged a 75 year old Meaford resident with operating an unsafe vehicle. The driver was issued a summons and must attend Provincial Offences Court.
Now that the spring like weather has arrived, Grey Bruce OPP remind motorists to conduct regular trailer maintenance, tighten all wheels and inflate tires and ensure that all loads are tarped properly and that towed vehicles are safe to operate on the roadway.
NOTTAWASAGA OPP URGE VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING TO COME FORWARD
Recently, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) has become aware of an online post referring to human trafficking concerns in Alliston, New Tecumseth.
Members of the Crime Unit diligently investigate any report of suspicious incidents, suspicious persons, or allegations of human trafficking in our area.
Human trafficking involves the recruitment, transportation or harbouring of persons for the purposes of exploitation, typically in the sex industry or for forced labour. Victims are often from extremely vulnerable populations, including migrant workers, new immigrants, Indigenous women and youth, at-risk youth and those who are socially or economically disadvantaged.
Traffickers use major highways to transport their victims throughout Ontario. Billboards along Highway 11 in Muskoka will be utilized during the campaign to help spread awareness of human trafficking to passing motorists, including human trafficking victims being transported by their traffickers.
The signs of human trafficking are not always obvious. Although the presence of one sign doesn’t necessarily identify human trafficking, a variety of indicators may point to the fact that an individual is being trafficked and needs help. These indicators may include:
Refusing to disclose information or provides false information.
Unable to indicate where they are living, or give their address.
Unable to identify their last location or their upcoming destination.
Traveling with a lack of or limited luggage.
Wearing clothing that is inappropriate for the weather or situation.
Allowing someone else to take control of the conversation for themselves and others.
Not having possession of their own identification or money.
The individual seems afraid, anxious or depressed.
Another person controls the individual’s conversation.
Showing signs of abuse, malnourishment or sleep deprivation.
If you or someone you know may be a victim, please call 9-1-1 immediately. Victims are encouraged to reach out to North Simcoe Victim Services at (705) 325-5578 for immediate emotional and practical assistance, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For more information or to learn more, visit:
Should you wish to make a report anonymously, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit ontariocrimestoppers.ca.
OPP REPORTS LONG WEEKEND TRAFFIC DEATHS, NUMEROUS SEAT BELT CHARGES
OPP Wraps Up Seat Belt Campaign (April 2-5, 2021)
(ORILLIA, ON) – The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) responded to three road fatalities, one off-road vehicle death and laid approximately 1,500 seat belt charges during its Easter long weekend seat belt campaign.
Lack of seat belt use was reported in all three of the road fatalities, while losing control was the primary cause in the off-road vehicle death.
As part of its long weekend seat belt campaign, the OPP conducted close to 8,000 traffic stops aimed at educating drivers and passengers about seat belt use and the critical role it plays in saving lives when collisions occur.
The OPP conducts traffic law enforcement year round as part of its commitment to saving lives on Ontario roads, waterways and trails.
SEATBELTS: WHY THAT THREE-SECOND CLICK MATTERS
With lack of seatbelt use attributed to 55 people dying on Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) patrolled roads last year, the OPP is giving seatbelt skeptics a few scenarios to consider that could save their lives.
Unbuckled crash survivors are not common to collisions
At any given second, an aggressive, impaired or distracted driver can collide with your vehicle, subjecting the body of an unrestrained driver or passenger to a level of crash force from which few people survive. You may not be able to stop a dangerous driver from crashing into your car, but by wearing a seatbelt, you can greatly reduce their chances of killing you.
Can a seatbelt hurt you?
In a crash, your seatbelt is one of the few things that can actually save you. Reliance on an airbag alone is not enough. If you don’t wear your seatbelt during a crash, you could be thrown into a rapidly opening frontal air bag, the force of which could seriously injure or even kill you.
Don’t skip due diligence when choosing a child car seat
Keeping your child safe at all times includes the time they spend travelling in a car (or booster) seat. A recent national roadside study found that close to 75 per cent of car seats were used or installed incorrectly. The safest car seat for your child is one that accommodates your child’s age, height and weight, has a National Safety Mark label and is properly installed.
The OPP remains committed to saving lives on Ontario roads, waterways and trails.
DID YOU KNOW?
In Canada, motor vehicle collisions are one of the leading causes of death in children.
Children under the age of 13, regardless of their size, are safest in the back seat of a vehicle, away from active frontal air bags.
UP IN SMOKE! Over $1.2 million in Cannabis Product Seized after Fire in Commercial Building Leads to Discovery of Illegal Cannabis Operation
On April 8, 2021 Caledon Fire Services attended a commercial building on Marconi Court in Bolton regarding a roof fire. While conducting their duties, an indoor cannabis operation was discovered at the location.
Members of the Ontario Provincial Police Caledon Detachment Community Street Crime Unit conducted an investigation and determined that there was no license for the operation located in one of the units. As a result of the investigation, a search warrant was executed at the location with the assistance of the Ontario Fire Marshalls office and Electrical Safety Authority.
Over $1.2 million of cannabis product was seized in addition to approximately $16,000 in operational equipment.
INDIVIDUALS ARRESTED AFTER BEING CAUGHT UNDER VEHICLE WITH A SAW
On April 10, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. members of the Sault Ste. Marie Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), Batchewana Police Service and Anishinabek Police Service were requested to attend the Batchewana Health Center as two unknown persons were digging underneath vehicles with a reciprocating saw.
Officers attended the area, located the two persons matching the description and after a short foot pursuit arrested both.
Justin GRAHAM, 30 years-old of Aweres Township was arrested and is charged with:
Resist Peace Officer, contrary to section 129(a) of the Criminal Code (CC),
Mischief under $5,000, contrary to section 430(4) of the CC, and
Obstruct Peace Officer, contrary to section 129(a) of the CC.
Jason PINE, 32 years-old of Garden River was arrested and is charged with:
Mischief under $5,000, contrary to section 430(4) of the CC.
Both accused were released from custody and are scheduled to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice in Sault Ste. Marie on May 31, 2021.
Speeder on Hwy 400 Loses Licence and Beer
(TAY TOWNSHIP, On)- A member of the Southern Georgian Bay detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) stopped a vehicle on Highway 400 near Port Severn at 7:50 p.m. April 3, 2021 for the offence of speeding. Further investigation lead to a seizure of open liquor and the commencement of a drinking and driving investigation.
As a result Robert Wayne HARRISON 41 years of Barrie has been charged with Operation while Impaired by alcohol and further with Operation while Impaired- over 80 mg contrary to the Criminal Code of Canada. He was also charged with driving with open liquor contrary to the Liquor Licence Act and Speeding contrary to the Highway Traffic Act and was released from custody to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice on April 15, 2021 in Midland.
The involved vehicle was towed and impounded for 7 days and the accused’s driver’s licence has been further suspended for 90 days under the conditions of the Administrative Drivers Licence Suspension (ADLS) .
Educating the public about safe driving practices with our community safety partners is a priority, if you see a possible impaired driver or operator please “Make the Call” and dial 911 and help prevent a crash.
Is It Genuine? Check That Photo with Reverse Image Search
Are you looking online for romance, a new home, a pet, or maybe a collectible item? Or perhaps you’re seeking any one of hundreds of other items that call for a photo to convince you to commit.
But chances are you’ve already heard about how fake photos are being used by scammers to trick victims into parting with their money.
It happens on classified ad services like Craigslist, on auction sites and, of course, on dating sites.
Crooks steal photos, profiles, and other details they find on social media sites, meaning you often have no idea if what you’re seeing is genuine or not.
One red flag shows when an item is offered at a crazily low price. Or, in the case of dating sites, good looking dreamboats who also seem to be perfect in every other way.
Another way to check is to search on the name of the item or the seller to see if they pop up elsewhere.
But that same search technique can be used in exactly the same way to check the validity of a photo. It’s an easy way to discover whether those photos are real or not, known as a reverse search, or a reverse image search.
It’s not as tough as it sounds because you can do it on Google and one or two other sites with just a couple of clicks. You upload the photo at Google Images (https://images.google.com) and the web giant will look virtually everywhere to see if it can find a match.
If it does, the source or the circumstances in which is is found, especially if there are multiple copies of the same image, might suggest a scam.
It’s not infallible. And if Google doesn’t find a match, that doesn’t necessarily mean the photo you’re checking is legit. But the service has undoubtedly helped thousands, perhaps millions, of potential victims identify a fake photo, to save them money and, possibly, heartbreak.
How to Do a Reverse Image Search
On the Google Image page, you’ll find a box similar to one on a regular search page. If you key in a keyword, Google will simply look for photos that match the words.
But if you drag a photo you want to check into this box, Google will find any other versions of the photo and identify the source.
Another way is to right click a website image to bring up a menu of options and select either “copy image address,” which you can insert into the search box, or select “search Google for image.”
(Note the actual wording of these options may depend on which browser you’re using.)
More Reverse Image Search Options
There are several other online services that enable you to run a reverse image check.
For example, TinEye, a commercial operation, offers a similar search to Google, plus a simple “upload” button and a copy-and-paste function linked to your computer’s clipboard.
It’s available as an extension to some browsers, including Google’s own Chrome, showing up as a “search image on TinEye” option when you right click a picture.
The firm claims to have indexed more than 46 billion images, which it can search in a matter of seconds. It adds millions more images every day.
There’s an important difference between what Google and TinEye subsequently do with the images you upload.
On the other hand, TinEye claims it never saves or indexes uploaded pictures.
Other reverse image software includes Reversee, Veracity, and Photo Sherlock. We don’t make recommendations on any particular one or their effectiveness, but you’ll find a list of some of the most popular apps here: https://tinyurl.com/Scambusters-210327-1
Reverse Image Search on Mobiles
The techniques we’ve outlined above are mainly focused on desktop reverse image searches.
It can be a little tougher with cell phones and other mobile devices. You may find you have to copy an image from your phone and transfer it across to your desktop to use one of the above methods.
But some of the desktop apps, such as TinEye, also have mobile alternatives Here’s a list of some of the best ones for iOS and Android:
As we said, reverse image searching is not guaranteed to identify fake photo scams. But it’s an important weapon in the never-ending fight against these fraudsters.
Alert of the Week
The past few weeks have seen a huge surge in spam emails emanating from a comcast.net address.
Comcast is one of the nation’s biggest Internet service providers (ISPs) and spammers appear to be creating hundreds of email accounts using them. The first part of the address is usually just a jumble of letters like ‘email@example.com’.
In just 24 hours, more than 40 of these turned up in one of the Scambusters team’s inbox, avoiding some anti-spam filters.
The sheer volume of the messages and the fact that most of them are duplicates and poorly worded gives enough of a clue to their “spaminess.”
It seems likely that the spammers have recently acquired a set of stolen email addresses and are just bombarding victims. In the case of our researcher, the address was a “throwaway” that he uses precisely to avoid spam on his main address.
Be on the alert for a similar invasion of your inbox!
7 Ways to Avoid a Restaurant Wine Scam
Americans drink about a billion gallons of wine a year, from ‘two buck Chuck’ to the rarest and most expensive vintages that cost thousands. Some of us get ripped off in the process.
And as we return down the long and slow road to normality, more of us are likely to be visiting restaurants and vacationing again. Instead of our supermarket favorites, we may be tempted to splash out on an expensive number in an upscale eatery.
If that’s you, beware! Restaurants and hotels are anxious to recoup lost income from the lockdown days — and likely have their eyes on the mouthwatering profits to be made from vino.
After all, all they have to do is buy and resell the bottle. No preps, unlike with a meal.
On average, they already mark up the prices of their wine by between 200% and 300% more than they paid per bottle.
That’s tough enough for us consumers, but unscrupulous venues may have spotted an opportunity to earn a lot more.
We warned last year about the way a few wine producers use misleading labels and additives to trick people into paying a lot for a poor product: https://scambusters.org/winetrick.html
But wine scams don’t end there. When you sit down in an unfamiliar restaurant, you could be a target for owners and servers who exploit the ignorance most of us share about wine varieties and vintages.
As investigative news site Vice.com puts it: “A sprawling wine list can be overwhelming, and if you don’t know much about wine, there’s a good chance you’re going to get swindled.”
In fact, recent research at Britain’s prestigious Oxford University shows how easily most of us are overawed by wine names and descriptions without knowing the first thing about their taste or value. Studies even suggest that playing certain kinds of music can encourage our quaffing.
And of course, the more we quaff, the less discerning our palates become. Even when the taste doesn’t live up to our expectations, we tend to “swallow it” and otherwise keep our mouths shut. We don’t want to look stupid in front of guests!
In fact, to avoid this discomfort, and faced with a multi-page wine list, many of us resort to asking the waiter for a recommendation or description. Although most, we would expect, would give us an honest answer, the waiter also knows that an imaginative description, true or not, can make people believe a wine tastes better than it really is.
One former wine waiter told Vice.com: “I’d just talk about the soil and the earthiness and chocolate and tobacco — those are the enticing words, because they’re kind of sexual, and so people just eat up these descriptions and they believe whatever you say.
“Even if the wine isn’t medium bodied and doesn’t have cherry notes, they’ll taste it and believe what they want to.”
Even if the wine was “corked” — that is, it has reacted with the cork stopper — most people either don’t realize or don’t like to complain.
A favorite trick is to upsell — persuade the customer to buy a much more expensive bottle. Tactics include:
Telling the customer that the French version of a similar California wine is much better (and costlier).
Grimacing — pulling a face if the customer makes a cheap selection.
Bringing in another waiter to pose as the restaurant’s sommelier or wine expert.
Saying that a particular selection is out of stock and offering a more expensive substitute.
In less scrupulous establishments, servers have been known to serve an entirely different and cheaper wine in place of an ordered expensive one.
7 Key Actions
So, if you’re not a wine expert, what can you do to avoid being scammed? Here are seven actions you can take:
Don’t try to pass yourself off as an expert if you’re not. The waiter (and perhaps your guests) will see straight through it but talk as “one expert to another” to push you in an expensive direction.
Obviously, though, it pays to do a little research, especially if you plan to visit an expensive place. These days, you might be able to see the full wine list online. Check the markup: How much does the restaurant charge compared with store-bought bottle? A markup of anything above 400% should raise an eyebrow.
Also, learn how to tell if a bottle is corked. See https://tinyurl.com/Scambusters-210321-1 Most, if not all, restaurants will replace a corked bottle.
Set a limit on how much you’re prepared to pay for a bottle. And if your waiter suggests a bottle represents better value than a couple of glasses, make sure you’re prepared to drink (or take home) the extra amount.
If you have a preference for a particular variety but don’t know the difference between all the different labels, opt for an American one. It’ll be cheaper!
Make sure you’re getting your bottle. Some wine lists don’t make crystal clear that prices are for half-bottles. When it turns up, a customer can face extreme embarrassment! Similarly, if you’re buying wine by the glass, make sure you know how much is in a glass. A standard serving is 5 ounces. There are 25 ounces in a standard bottle.
When a bottle of wine is served, inspect the label to be sure it matches your list selection.
Don’t forget too to watch out for the feel-good factor. Nice music, great company, and a friendly waiter can easily steer you into ordering that second or third bottle. Set your volume limit before you go!
So many of us will be glad to revisit restaurants as restrictions ease. Just don’t let your enthusiasm set you up for a wine scam.