Victoria, BC – Officers are warning the public after a Victoria woman was victimized by scammers who claimed to be members of VicPD.
On July 3rd a Victoria woman reported that she was the victim of a fraud. The woman explained that she was contacted by a man from a phone number similar to that of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The man claimed to be a member of the CRA and advised the victim that her personal information had been stolen and used to rent a car in another country.
The woman was asked to identify her nearest police department, which was VicPD. The woman then received a phone call which her call display indicated was the VicPD non-emergency line – 250-995-7654. The man on the phone claimed to be a police officer and told the victim that her bank accounts would be “frozen” for six to twelve months if she did not send money. The scammer successfully persuaded the victim to withdraw $2,500, attend a bitcoin machine and transfer the funds.
These fraudsters are often both aggressive and convincing. They will often “spoof” legitimate telephone numbers like those of the CRA, and local police departments, including VicPD. They often will not allow their potential victims to hang up or leave the phone call.
VicPD officers will never demand cash to be paid to resolve an incident, nor will request funds transferred through bitcoin.
This incident is a recent example of the deception utilized by telephone scammers. Scammers have recently attempted a similar fraud while trying to impersonate the Saanich Police and Central Saanich Police.
If someone contacts you by telephone claiming to be from VicPD and asks you to pay money to resolve an ongoing criminal complaint, hang up. It’s a scam.
What to do if you receive one of these calls and gave out personal information or money:
It is important to act quickly if you’ve received one of these calls and have given out personal information or money. If you are in the process of providing financial information or sending money to potential fraudsters – stop immediately.
Contact your financial institutions and ensure all payments that you have not authorized are stopped. Inform them of the fraud and change both passwords and access information. Please also call our non-emergency number at (250) 995-7654 to report the incident.
What to do if you receive one of these calls, but didn’t give out personal information or money:
You don’t need to report it to us directly.
We encourage you to report the fraud attempt to the Canadian Anti-fraud Centre by calling 1-888-495-8501 or online at http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/reportincident-signalerincident/index-eng.htm.
The Canadian Anti-fraud Centre keeps law enforcement partners across Canada informed about the latest fraud attempts and the best ways to counter them.
For more information on keeping yourself safe from fraud, please visit vicpd.ca/fraud