Investigators from the 11 Division Criminal Investigation Bureau are warning Peel residents of a phone scam that is currently targeting elderly, Polish-speaking victims across the region.
On at least nine occasions between June 25, and September 9, numerous residents contacted police to report that they had received a suspicious phone call from a woman which made them feel uncomfortable or unsafe. All of these incidents occurred during the daytime between 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm.
The residents advised that they received a call from a woman, who was communicating in Polish and claiming to be a police officer. When the woman called, she said one or more of the following:
- Asks how much money or jewelry they have in the house.
- Asks them to withdraw money from their bank account and put it outside of their home.
- Asks them not to speak to anyone about the request.
- Says that their phone lines have been tapped.
- Says that four armed persons in a vehicle are going to attend the residence to collect the items.
In most cases, residents contacted police immediately to report the incidents and did not sustain any loss as a result.
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Peel Police reminds residents that in the event they receive a call similar to this, they should verify the details of the request.
You can do so by obtaining a name, badge number and police service of the person identifying themselves as a police officer. Source the number for the police service independently and avoid calling any phone number the unknown caller has provided you with.
Any requests for money by an unknown person should be treated suspiciously.
Some other safety tips to consider are:
- If someone calls claiming to be a police officer, they will not ask you for money or personal property over the phone.
- Residents with elderly family members who live alone, or have listed phone numbers, should make them aware of this scam.
- Residents, in general, should be cognizant of the fact that there are many fraudulent schemes out there, using the internet and phone calls to contact potential victims.
- Requests for money should be treated with caution and an appropriate amount of due diligence should be practiced.
- Any time someone calls you about an emergency; it is important to remain calm and independently check with a friend, relative or police before taking any action.
- Any time someone calls you and you feel unsafe or threatened, contact the police immediately.
- Education is the key to prevention with this type of fraud. To learn more about this and other scams affecting Canadians, residents are encouraged to visit www.antifraudcentre.ca .
- Peel Regional Police Crime Prevention Services offer free community safety presentations to the public.
You can visit PeelPolice.ca for details.
Anyone with information, in relation to this investigation, is asked to contact investigators at 11 Division Criminal Investigation Bureau (905) 453-2121, ext. 1133.
Information may also be left anonymously by calling Peel Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or by visiting peelcrimestoppers.ca.