The Chestermere RCMP are warning the general public of fraudulent telephone calls claiming to originate from the RCMP detachment to callers into the Calgary area.
The RCMP was notified that the Chestermere detachment's phone number was "spoofed" and used by the callers to coerce the victims into providing personal information such as their Social Insurance Number (SIN). These callers are also telling some of the victims that they are under investigation by the RCMP and that they will be arrested, unless they transfer large amounts of money within the next few hours.
Spoofing occurs when a caller identification (caller ID) or call display are manipulated to show trusted phone numbers. This tricks people into answering the call and believing they are speaking with a trusted source. Do not use call display as a way to authenticate who is calling. Fraudsters may use a variety of other telephone scam tactics to create anxiety so that victims respond by sending money quickly in order to fix the problem.
If you receive unsolicited calls that are coercive or threatening and claiming to be police or any other government department, don't panic, don't react, and please hang up.
Police services in Canada including the RCMP do not contact individuals via email or telephone for the purpose of collecting fines or money. Don't give out personal information on unsolicited calls such as your name, address, date of birth, SIN or credit card information.
The RCMP is issuing this media advisory to warn the general public of this activity. If you have received similar telephones calls or know of someone who has, please contact your local police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) at 1-888-495-8501 or through its website at https://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/index-eng.htm.
Points to Remember:
- No legitimate government agency or business will demand payment in gift cards or prepaid credit cards. These methods are used by criminals in order to hide their activities from police;
- If you receive a call from someone claiming you owe money, get as much information from them as possible and tell them you will call them back.
- Find the government agencies’ phone number through a trusted source (phonebook, or official website) and call the department back. Don’t trust the phone number or email from the caller until you have verified that they are who they say they are.
- Do not share any personal information with the caller, such as your name, social insurance number, address, etc. The best protection from scammers is to learn how to resist being pushed into a decision regardless of how persuasive or aggressive the scammer may be.
- Anyone who believes they may have been victimized by this scam or who has given out personal or financial information in error, is advised to contact their local police service and their financial institution.
- Protect yourself and the vulnerable people in your life by learning how to recognize fraud at Canada’s Anti-Fraud Centre (AntiFraudCentre.ca) and the Canadian Revenue Service (CRA.gc.ca).