SCAM WARNING: TBPS sees spike in phone scams targeting Social Insurance Numbers

Wednesday, October 28, 2020 - 08:30
Date Published: 2020-10-28

The Thunder Bay Police Service is warning the public about an apparent spike in phone scams to local numbers in which fraudsters attempt to get their target’s Social Insurance Number (SIN).

Complaints received by the TBPS indicate the fraudsters are typically claiming to be from a government agency. The targeted victims are told they need to provide their SIN and are sometimes given another number to call to provide it.

Do not provide your SIN to any unsolicited caller even if they claim to be with the Canada Revenue Agency, Department of Justice Canada or any other legitimate government agency. Do not provide these callers with any form of payment. Remember that no government agency, police service or financial institution will request payment via gifts cards.

If you are concerned the caller may be legitimate and a real issue requires your attention, please hang up and independently get a hold of the institution or agency in question. Look up the phone numbers and website addresses independently and never use the number provided by the potential fraudster.

Beware of fraudsters trying to provide you with a false sense of security by displaying local numbers to your Caller ID. The number displayed by your Caller ID can be easily spoofed.

The Thunder Bay Police Service is unable to stop these calls from being made. If you receive a call please do not contact 911 or the non-emergency TBPS line. If you are concerned about potential scams and want to learn more please contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (

The Thunder Bay Police Service strongly encourages residents to speak with potentially vulnerable family members and friends about these ongoing scams. These 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.


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