Phone scammers are at it again in Winnipeg and this time they are spoofing the caller ID of the Winnipeg Police Service general inquiry line.
When victims answer the phone from the spoofed line the fraudster claims to be a police officer and tries to obtain personal information, credit card details, gift cards or cash. They use components of existing scams known as the Grandparent or Canada Revenue Agency scam. Both of these scams are designed to portray a sense of urgency and get you to pay in order to avoid a loved one or yourself from jail time. These scams are high pressure, threatening and usually demand immediate payment through gift cards, credit cards or cash.
Winnipeg police say that police, courts and government agencies never demand payment over the phone or send someone to your house to collect money or gift cards. They will also never tell you to lie to your bank about the purpose of obtaining money.
Police or Canada Revenue Agency will never demand immediate payment by Interac e-transfer, bitcoin, prepaid credit cards, or gift cards from retailers such as iTunes, Amazon, or others.
If you get a call that claims to be a family member, ask the caller a few questions only a family member could answer by an imposter could not.
If you do get scammed document all the information you can remember and put together receipts, copies of emails, text messages and courier companies then report the incident to police.
By reporting the scam you could possibly recover your financial loss but you will also help protect the community from future frauds and scams.