**** HRP Media Release
Police warn citizens of fraudulent phone calls
Halifax Regional Police is advising the public of a recent increase in fraudulent phone calls where a scammer identifies themselves as an investigator with a government agency or police department.
There are always new scams that criminals use to try to steal your money and identification. A common theme of late involves the scammer advising the victim that they are under investigation for a crime. To resolve this, the victim is directed to make a payment in the form of depositing money to a Bitcoin account or purchasing gift cards. The scammers use spoofing methods to disguise the phone numbers to make it appear as though the call is coming from the agency or department.
Police remind citizens that no member of a government or police agency will ever make this type of call or demand payment by conversion of currency to Bitcoin or gift cards to resolve an outstanding investigation. If you receive a call like this, hang up immediately.
Protect yourself. Fraudulent phone calls can sound convincing and tempting. Scammers may claim to be from your bank, tell you that your account was compromised and ask you to provide them with account numbers for verification. Always hang up and check the legitimacy of the call by contacting the organization directly using information from an official website or the number listed in the phone book. If anyone calls you with a great opportunity to make money and asks for personal or banking information, hang up the phone. Never provide personal information such as your SIN, account numbers, passwords or other identifying information in response to unexpected calls.
For anti-fraud tips, see the website for the Canadian anti-fraud centre: http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/index-eng.htm