Victoria police officers are warning the public after a West Shore resident found herself at the centre of a Social Insurance Number (SIN) scam, where the scammer claimed to be a VicPD officer.
Last week the woman went to the West Shore RCMP detachment to report that she received a telephone call from a number that appeared to originate at the Victoria Police Department. The caller claimed the woman had an arrest warrant out as her SIN was used for a $100,000 fraud and drug trafficking.
The caller, claiming to be a VicPD officer, gave the woman a name and badge number. She hung up before he could make any demands and before any money could be exchanged. She then attended the West Shore RCMP detachment to to ensure she wasn’t in any trouble. Westshore RCMP officers described her a visually distraught from the ordeal.
According to VicPD this instance is a recent example of the SIN scam, which is being reported in Victoria and Esquimalt, Greater Victoria and nation-wide.
The scam, being conducted by telephone, fakes the call display number to indicate they are calling from a legitimate government agency such as the RCMP, Service Canada, the Canada Revenue Agency or in this case, Victoria Police Department.
Often scammers claim people’s SIN has been indicated in a crime, often fraud, or for an outstanding balance owing to the government. They usually claim a court case has already progressed against the potential victim and that they face immediate arrest, they are then directed to share personal information and eventually, hand over money.
If you receive a SIN scam call:
Report it to the Canadian Anti-fraud Centre by calling 1-888-495-8501 or online at 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.
If you gave out personal information or money:
Act quickly if you have given out information or money to a scammer. Stop immediately if you are in the process of sending money to fraudsters.
Contact your financial institution and ensure all payments that you have not authorized are stopped. Inform them of the fraud charge, change all your passwords and access information.
Call VicPD’s non-emergency number at 250-995-7654 to report the incident.
For more information on keeping yourself safe from fraud, please visit vicpd.ca/fraud.