VICTORIA -- The West Shore RCMP are warning the community of a sophisticated phone scam that features callers posing as a police officers.

Mounties say that on Jan. 8, a woman was called by someone posing as a West Shore RCMP officer. The impersonator told the woman that police had a warrant issued for her arrest, and asked for personal details, including her banking information.

The scammer also asked the woman what her local RCMP detachment's phone number was so that someone from the detachment could call her back to prove that she was speaking to the police.

The woman then received a call from the scammer which displayed the West Shore RCMP's non-emergency phone number.

Police say that scammers are able to disguise their caller ID and that community members should not always trust their call displays at face value. 

"We want the public to be aware of this scam," said Const. Nancy Saggar of the West Shore RCMP. "We have seen this type of scam before where the call display on your phone may reflect our number, or that of an official agency, but this is a common scamming technique called spoofing. 

"Scammers will use computer software to alter how their number is displayed and make it look like we are calling you," said Saggar.

To protect yourself from similar scams, the West Shore RCMP has released a number of safety tips.

  • Don’t believe your caller ID
  • Don’t provide your personal/banking information over the phone
  • Hang up on Robo calls
  • If you find the caller suspicious there’s no need to continue the conversation, just hang up
  • Never wire money or deposit a check
  • Talk to someone you trust before making a decision to send money, scammers want you to make a decision in a hurry and will try to pressure you

Further information on how to protect yourself from fraud can be found online here