RCMP warns of phone scams

The Elk Valley RCMP wants to warn the public of phone scams that have been occurring recently.

The Elk Valley RCMP wants to warn the public of phone scams that have been occurring recently.

Const. Will Thien recently gave a talk at the Sparwood Senior Drop In Centre about the scams.

“Another thing that we see on the increase lately – lately meaning the last couple of week, two or three weeks – that telephone scams are on the increase again, and they are talking about this time around as the most common one is someone being contacted by somebody, scammers, pretending to be from Revenue Canada, telling them that they didn’t do their taxes right, or whatever the story line is,” said Thien in an interview with The Free Press. “Basically telling people that they have a fine of some kind and they are now to pay the fine immediately or risk having them send the police to arrest them.”

Thien added that Revenue Canada wouldn’t communicate with people in that manner, opting for more official lines of communications.

“They will go through a proper channel to advise you if you do owe them money.”

Thien warned of the people behind the scams, citing that their main objective is for money.

“Their sole purpose is to get you to send them money or personal information. Do not engage them in conversation. Simply just hang up,” he said, adding that many scammers have sophisticated technologies that allow them to easily deceive people.

“A lot of them will have technologies to display numbers coming in,” he said.

“Somehow they put our phone number on the victim’s call display and basically just to legitimize their call – to make it look legitimate but it’s not. There are technologies out there that you can mask any number that you want.”

In July, Thien warned that there are five common scams, with three of them being over the phone, one via the Internet, and the other by mail. Thien said that if anyone thinks they are being targeted by scammers to call the Elk Valley RCMP at 250-425-6233.