RCMP is warning residents to be wary of phone scams claiming to be from government departments. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)

RCMP is warning residents to be wary of phone scams claiming to be from government departments. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)

Don’t give out personal info on the phone, Island RCMP warn

Phone scams impersonating government departments are on the rise

Port Hardy RCMP is warning about a surge of telephone scams from people impersonating “vague government departments like “Service BC” or the “Justice Department.”

The caller will try to confirm details about the person they’ve called. If the victim confirms personal information such as a social insurance number, the caller hangs up.

If no one answers the call, the scammer may leave a voicemail threatening arrest if the person does not call back. Some scammers can spoof the caller ID making it look like they are calling from the so-called “Justice Department.”

The RCMP offered this advise for people who suspect a scam:

  • hang up the phone right away, do not follow any prompts
  • do not respond to calls or text messages from unknown or suspicious phone numbers
  • do not click on any attached links as they may lead you to fake websites
  • do not give out any personal or financial information
  • do not respond to robocallers that prompt you to push a number to be placed on a do-not-call list.
  • utility or phone/internet companies generally do not collect any credit card or bank account information over the phone, by email or text.
  • no government agency or bank will threaten to arrest you
  • no government agencies will request payment in Bitcoin, iTunes cards, gift cards or interact e-transfers.

For more tips to protect yourself check out https://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/protect-protegez-eng.htm. To report a scam to the anti fraud centre go to https://antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/.

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