Saanich police issued a scam alert on Saturday morning after receiving reports of scammers pretending to be from the Saanich Police. (Saanich Police Department/Facebook)

Saanich police warn of ‘aggressive’ new phone scam

Scammers pretend to be Saanich police, ask for Bitcoin deposits

Saanich police are warning residents about a new phone scam after receiving several reports of scammers pretending to be from the Saanich Police Department.

Sgt. Damian Kowalewich called the scam “aggressive” and noted that the scammers have even been altering their call display so that the calls appear to be coming from the Saanich Police Department phone number – 250-475-4321.

When the phone is answered, the scammers claim that the person’s Social Insurance Number (SIN) has been compromised. The call recipient is asked to confirm the last three numbers of their SIN and then the scammers claim the person owes money.

Police explained that the scammers are persistent and demand that the call recipient withdraw money from their bank and deposit it into local Bitcoin machines or buy iTunes gift cards.

Kowalewich emphasized that the Saanich police will never ask residents to withdraw money, make a deposit in a Bitcoin machine or buy gift cards.

If anyone suspects they received a call of this nature, police are asking that they document the call ID number and hang up without providing any personal information to the caller. The call should then be reported to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

Police are also asking that residents share the details of this scam with their loved ones who may be vulnerable.

Kowalewich confirmed that as of Nov. 9, no Saanich residents reported having lost any money in this scam.

READ ALSO: Bear sighting reported on West Saanich Road


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devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

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