North Vancouver RCMP are warning the public about a recent series of scam phone calls that appear as though they are coming from the North Vancouver Detachment.
Scammers have been able to “spoof” calls in order to make them appear as though they are coming from the Detachment’s non-emergency number, (604) 985-1311. A scammer will fraudulently introduce themselves as an officer, sometimes using the name of a real officer they’ve been able to find on the internet.
A scammer will often follow a formula where 1) they say you have an urgent problem; 2) they say they have the solution; and 3) they tell you to send them money. Less commonly, they will try to entice you with money, such as a government benefit. This is all trickery, classic “carrot and stick” tactics to try to get you to do what they want. Here’s how you can spot them.
Usually scammers follow a series of steps.
STEP 1 – LEGITIMACY
Pretending To Be An Official
Scammers always have a cover story. They will introduce themselves as an official, such as a:
- Government representative
- Tax agent
- Police officer
- Bank official
- Agent acting on behalf of a person of great importance (such as a prince or princess)
Please note that the RCMP do NOT act as collection agents for monies owed and therefore would not be sending a policeman to arrest the person for outstanding CRA related debts or otherwise.
HINT: Did they ask your name? They probably will, then they will pretend to look for your “file”. But if they called you, why don’t they already have your name?
THEIR ANSWER: “It is an automated call.” This is a lie. Even if you were to give them a false name, they would claim to have found your “file”.
STEP 2 – FEAR
Creating A Sense Of Urgency
Next, the caller will try to scare you. They will use lies such as:
- Your Social Insurance Number (SIN) has been compromised
- Your identity has been stolen
- Police are on the way to arrest you
- A “magistrate” has rendered a judgement against you
HINT: Ask lots of questions. Soon you may hear them using strange terminology. They may use terms such as “Magistrate of the State”.
STEP 3 – MONEY
Creating A Financial Problem
Next, they will lie to you about a financial problem. They will use lies such as:
- You owe a large sum of money to Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)
- To avoid arrest, you must make immediate payment
- You must go to a store and pay by bitcoin, Itunes Cards, google cash cards or money transfers