VicPD are warning the public about possible scammers after a Victoria man was defrauded of $6,000 this week.
Officers were contacted on October 28 by a man who said he had been the victim of a fraud involving scammers impersonating Service Canada and VicPD.
The man said he had received a phone call with an automated message claiming he was the subject of federal charges.
The message instructed the man to press 1 to be “transferred to a Service Canada employee.” The impersonator the man spoke to after pressing 1 told him his Social Insurance Number was compromised.
The impersonator also told the man that several bank accounts had been opened under his name and used to commit criminal offences, including drug trafficking.
The man was told to deposit money into a bitcoin account to “protect his assets,” and was told his bank accounts would be frozen in an hour if he did not.
Scammers falsified several phone calls to the victim from the number 250-995-7654, which is the same number as the VicPD non-emergency line.
A person impersonating a VicPD officer gave the same story as the scammer who impersonated a Service Canada representative, and encouraged the man to deposit money into the bitcoin machine.
The victim was persuaded to deposit $6,000 into a bitcoin machine.
VicPD warns that fraudsters are often both aggressive and convincing.
Fraudsters will often “spoof” legitimate telephone numbers like those of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), and local police departments, including VicPD. They often will not allow their potential victims to hang up or leave the phone call.
VicPD says their officers will never demand cash to be paid to resolve an incident, nor request funds transferred through bitcoin.
Anyone who is contacted by telephone by someone claiming to be from VicPD who asks for money should simply hang up.
If financial information is given out, VicPD say that victims should contact financial institutions immediately and ensure all unauthorized payments are stopped. They should also call the VicPD non-emergency number at (250) 995-7654 to report the incident.
Canadians can also report fraud attempts by contacting the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or online at http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/reportincident-signalerincident/index-eng.htm.