SCAM WARNING: Caller IDs not always what they purport to be

Published
Tuesday, February 11, 2020 - 10:15
Date Published: 2020-02-11

The Thunder Bay Police Service would like to remind the public to be on the lookout for phone scams even if your Caller ID indicates an incoming call is from a legitimate source.

Caller IDs can be easily spoofed, and fraudsters may use random local numbers, or the numbers of prominent businesses or institutions, to confuse their targets. Some targets of these frauds have reported receiving phone calls their caller ID claims to be from the Thunder Bay Police Service of the Thunder Bay Courthouse.

No reputable institution will ask you for your personal information – like a Social Insurance Number of Personal Identification Number. Nor will you be required to make payments in the form of gift cards.

If you are concerned but uncertain if a phone call may be a scam, please hang up and independently get a hold of the institution in question. Look up the phone numbers independently and never use the number provided by the potential fraudster or the information from your Caller ID.

The Thunder Bay Police Service is unable to stop these calls from being made. If you are concerned about potential scams and want to learn more please contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/)

Do not call 911 if you received a call from a potential fraudster. Do not call the non-emergency line about attempted phone scams.

The Thunder Bay Police Service strongly encourages residents to speak with potentially vulnerable family members and friends about these ongoing scams. These would-be fraudsters are experts at creating a sense of urgency and panic. This panic leads to quick decisions, which oftentimes leads to success for the scammer.

The elderly and foreign students, who may have limited understanding about Canadian laws, are sometimes more aggressively targeted.

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