SCAM ALERT: RCMP Warn of Spoofing of Their Phone Number
The Mounties are warning Ontario residents of scammers spoofing the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) telephone number and making fraudulent calls.
Calls, which appear to be coming from the RCMP, impersonate a police officer who tells victims there’s a large amount of money owing on their personal taxes, and that an arrest warrant has been issued in their name.
The callers then demand that a large amount of money be immediately paid via money transfer.
The fraudsters are using caller ID spoofing, which the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre describes as disguising telephone numbers appearing on a caller ID display.
This popular tool allows scammers to disguise their calls, say RCMP, as the call will appear to be coming from local or familiar numbers to trick people into answering the phone and trusting the caller.
Be aware that these fraudsters may use a variety of other scam tactics as well.
Scams are designed to create anxiety so that victims respond by sending money quickly in order to fix the problem.
Reminder: the RCMP doesn’t contact individuals via email or telephone for the purpose of collecting fines or taxes.
If you’ve received similar telephones calls or know of someone who has, contact your local police and the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or through their online reporting tool.
- Don’t trust your call display. It may say ‘Police’ or ‘ABC’, but in reality, it is actually a scammer. It does not matter what the caller ID says, you cannot trust it.
- If you get a call from someone who says they represent a company or a government agency seeking personal information, hang up and call the phone number on your account statement, in the phone book or on the company or government agency’s website to verify the authenticity of the request.
- Never give out personal information such as account numbers, social insurance number (SIN), mother’s maiden name, passwords or other identifying information in response to unexpected calls.
(Source: Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre)