Police issue scam warning after man impersonates VicPD officer
(CTV News File Photo)
Victoria police are issuing a warning after a West Shore woman was contacted by a conman who claimed to be a VicPD officer.
According to police, the woman recently received a phone call from the man who disguised his caller ID as coming from the Victoria Police Department. He then told her that an arrest warrant was issued for her because her social insurance number (SIN) was connected to $100,000 worth of fraud and drug trafficking.
The woman says that the man went so far as to offer her a name and badge number.
Suspecting that something was amiss, the woman hung up on the scammer before any money was given, but was shaken from the incident. She then visited the West Shore RCMP detachment where she explained the situation.
Police say that she was "visually distraught from the ordeal."
According to VicPD, the telephone scam is just one of many recent attempts to get Vancouver Island residents to share their personal information, and potentially their money.
The scams usually begin with a phone call disguised as a government agency, like the RCMP, Service Canada, or the Canada Revenue Agency with false call display numbers.
The scammers then try to intimidate the callers by indicating that the person has an outstanding balance or alleged charge against them. Police say that the scammers will often claim that a court case is already in progress or that the victim faces immediate arrest unless they share personal information and eventually money.
Police say that anyone who receives a similar call should act quickly and hang up, or if they are in the process of sending information or money to stop immediately. If money has been sent, people are asked to call their financial institutions to make sure all payments have stopped and to change passwords and access information.
VicPD asks that anyone who thinks they have received a fraudulent call is encouraged to report the incident to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or their website here. The national organization is best equipped to investigate fraud attempts nation-wide, say police.
Last year, a Saanich woman had a more frightening experience with people impersonating law enforcements officers after two men dressed as Mounties knocked on her front door and threatened to arrest her if she didn't follow their orders and hand over money.