IG News Updates,
Winnipeg police are warning the public not to trust caller ID, as fraudsters are finding ways to spoof the technology and impersonate officers.
cast. Jay Murray says he’s had some recent reports of phone scammers using caller ID, such as those from the Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) number, often the general inquiry line – 204-986-6313.
“From that point, they claim to be a police officer or an investigator of some sort and use components of an existing scam such as the grandparent or (Canada Revenue Agency) scam to solicit and receive personal information, gift cards , money or credit card details,” Murray explained.
Grandparent scams usually involve panicked calls to an elderly person claiming to be a grandchild or family member who is in prison and needs money immediately.
Read more: Winnipeg police warn of ‘new twist’ in scam targeting grandparents
In this iteration, Murray says, the caller impersonates the police and asks for money or gift cards to help a family member, usually involving some immediacy.
“People sometimes make rash decisions under pressure, they may not have had the opportunity to verify that information,” he said.
Murray says spoofing caller ID is nothing new, but this is the first time fraudsters have used WPS’s general inquiry line.
He noted that the caller ID system is not very secure, and people should be aware that it is not necessarily accurate. The public is encouraged to make an effort to confirm the identity of the person on the call.
If the caller claims they are a family member, ask the caller a few personal questions that a family member can answer, but not an impostor.
Additionally, he states that the police or courts, including lawyers, will never send anyone to your home to try to take money or gift cards. They will also never ask you to lie to your bank about the purpose of getting the money.
Similarly CRA will never demand immediate payment.
Importance of reporting scams
Meanwhile, Murray says many of these crimes go unreported because those who are their victims are either too embarrassed to come forward, or think that reporting them will do nothing. .
“Reporting whether you have been a victim, whether it has been successful or not, is very important. Not only will it help you, but it will help us prevent this from happening to other people as well,” he said , Adding the police can sometimes reduce the lost money or block the transaction altogether.
More information on how to report fraud or scam can be found on the WPS website.