The Port Hardy RCMP are warning the public about a surge of telephone scams, and are asking all phone users to beware.
According to the RCMP, the scams usually start with the caller claiming to be from some vague government department like “Service BC” or the “Justice Department.”
Then, the caller proceeds to “confirm” certain details to ensure they are speaking with the right person and to look them up on their system.
Once the unsuspecting recipient provides their personal information, such as a SIN number, police say the caller hangs up.
“If the call is ignored, many times a voicemail will be left requesting a callback or the person will be arrested,” said the Port Hardy RCMP in a release on Saturday. “The scammers can even ‘spoof’ the calls, making the calls look like they are from the Justice Department.”
If you receive phone calls or text message scams, police are asking you to:
- hang up the phone right away, do not follow any prompts
- do not respond to calls or text messages from unknown or suspicious phone numbers
- do not click on any attached links as they may lead you to fake websites
- do not give out any personal or financial information
- do not respond to
robocallersthat prompt you to push a number to be placed on a do not call list.
The RCMP say utility or phone and internet companies generally do not collect any credit card or bank account information over the phone, by email or text.
Officers are assuring the public no government agency or bank will threaten to arrest you, and no government agencies will request payment in Bitcoin, iTunes cards, gift cards or interact e-transfers.
For more tips visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website.