Date: Thursday, October 29, 2020
Victoria, BC – Officers are warning the public after a Victoria man was victimized by another scam involving fraudsters who claimed to be members of VicPD.
On October 28th, a Victoria man contacted officers to report that he was the victim of a fraud involving Service Canada and VicPD impersonators. The man reported that he received a phone call with an automated message that claimed he was the subject of federal charges. The man was instructed to press 1, and was transferred to a fraudster impersonating a Service Canada employee. The impersonator advised the man that his SIN was compromised, and that several bank accounts had been opened under his name and used in the commission of criminal offences such as drug trafficking. The impersonator instructed the man to deposit money into a bitcoin account to protect his assets before his bank accounts were frozen in one hour.
The man then received several phone calls from 250-995-7654, which is the same number as the VicPD non-emergency line. A person impersonating a VicPD officer corroborated the Service Canada impersonator’s story, and encouraged the man to deposit money into the bitcoin machine.
The victim was persuaded to deposit $6,000 into a bitcoin machine.
In August, a similar scam involving VicPD impersonators defrauded a woman of $6,000.
These fraudsters are often both aggressive and convincing. They 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 officers will never demand cash to be paid to resolve an incident, nor request funds transferred through bitcoin.
If someone contacts you by telephone claiming to be from VicPD and asks you to pay money to resolve a social insurance number issue or 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