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Phone scams expected to spike this holiday season: VicPD
VICTORIA - Aggressive phone scams targeting people living on Vancouver Island are expected to ramp up again this holiday season.
Victoria Police media spokesperson Matt Rutherford tells CTV News that during the holiday and tax season, Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) scams increase.
“We’ve seen it for the past three or four years so we are probably, unfortunately, going to see it this year,” said Rutherford.
Just last week, both the Victoria Police Department and the Saanich Police Department warned people about a news “aggressive” phone scam.
Sgt. Damian Kowalewich said the scam started happening this week and scammers have even changed their call display to show Saanich Police Department or even display the SPD main phone number, 250-475-4321.
“The scammers are being extremely aggressive and demanding that people withdraw money from their bank accounts and then deposit it into local Bitcoin machines,” said Kowalewich. “iTunes cards (and subsequent numbers) are also being requested from residents.”
A scammer pretending to be from the Canada Revenue Agency picked the wrong person to call earlier this week.
Rutherford receieved a call from a scammer to his cell phone and questioned the caller, saying “you already have my name” before they hung up.
“I got another call this morning,” he said. “It never ends.”
A retired law enforcement officer and social media safety expert said people’s phone numbers are becoming more accessible.
“Technology is changing and it’s making it easier for organized crime groups to do this kind of stuff,” said Darren Laur.
“Facebook just admitted not too long ago that a lot of information, including phone numbers, that we are putting in there they are selling to third parties.”
Indian authorities said they shut down a call centre and arrested 32 people who were targeting Canadian citizens on Monday.
If you receive a phone call from a scammer you should hang up and call the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre or visit their website online here.