Central Saanich and Saanich police departments warn the public to be wary as a scam is circulating where fraudsters make it look like they’re calling from police phone numbers.
Central Saanich officers issued the alert by social media on Thursday, June 25 after receiving two reports of scammers spoofing the non-emergency phone number 250-652-4441 while claiming to be from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
The CRA scam entails a scammer claiming to be an employee of the CRA or Service Canada. They claim a potential victim owes back taxes, has an unpaid balance, or has committed a financial crime and must pay a fine immediately or face arrest or deportation.
On Thursday afternoon, the Saanich police warned of a similar phone scam. Det. Sgt. Damian Kowalewich told Black Press Media that officers had received 10 reports of “aggressive” fraudsters spoofing the Saanich Police Department’s main phone line – 250-475-4321 – and claiming to be from the CRA. The scammers have been asking residents to use Bitcoin machines to send money as part of the fraud.
“The Saanich police will never call you and ask to withdraw money, purchase iTunes cards, nor direct you to a Bitcoin machine,” Kowalewich said. “If you suspect that a scammer has called, document the caller I.D. number and hang up.”
Police are reminding the public not to provide personal details over the phone without confirming who the caller is and to avoid sending money to strangers. Anyone who feels they’ve been scammed should call local police and their bank. Police are also asking that residents share the details of this recent scam with any vulnerable persons in their lives.
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre collects information on fraud and identity theft. Report frauds and learn more at antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca.