Police in Vancouver are alerting the public about a new phone scam that uses the department’s non-emergency number and involves fraudsters claiming to be police officers.
Several Vancouver residents have reported the scammers, who call and say they are from Vancouver Police Department, or the Canada Revenue Agency regarding false debts. They then ask for Bitcoin or gift cards to pay off the fake outstanding charges.
Fraud Alert: Some Vancouver residents have received phone calls from scammers claiming to be police officers, or calling from a police phone number. #VPD will never ask you for money over the phone. If you receive a call, or think you’ve been scammed, call police right away.
— Vancouver Police (@VancouverPD) October 11, 2019
In a press release, VPD Sergeant Aaron Roed stresses that the non-emergency police line is for residents to use to report incidents to the force, and citizens will never receive a call from that number. He also says that the police will never call people to solicit payments.
“We ask that if you receive a call like this, you hang up immediately and spread the word to friends and family,” he says.
This phone scam involves a person claiming to be from CRA, who asks the victim to look up and provide the number for the police department. The scammer hangs up and the victim then receives another call, which displays on the phone as the VDP non-emergency line. The person on the line then poses as a police officer, and relays a fake badge number. The victim is informed that their social insurance number has been used for credit card accounts that have considerable balances owing. They are then instructed to pay back the debt by sending Bitcoin or gift cards.
Police wants people to know that if they think they’ve been scammed, they can visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online or call them toll free at 1-888-495-8501.