Sometimes scams can be hard to identify, however, it is not uncommon for police to alert people about them if they find out one (or multiple) has been circulating.
And recently, the Halton Regional Police, in a press release, issued a warning regarding multiple telephone scams that have been circulating the region.
Halton residents should be aware of the following telephone scams.
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In this scam, according to police, the caller identifies as someone from the Canadian Revenue Agency and states that the victim owes money for taxes. Payment is then requested in the form of gift cards that are not traceable (Amazon, iTunes, Google Play). The goal of the scam is to get the victim to purchase a large number of gift cards and give the caller the personal identification number (PIN) or verification number for the cards.
Police note that in some cases the caller will tell the victim a warrant will be obtained and they will be arrested if they do not make an immediate payment.
Another telephone scam that has been circulating is one where the caller indicates they are from the victim’s bank. The caller claims to need help investigating an internal fraud between the bank and another retail store. The caller states that the victim has been selected to assist with the investigation and could earn up to $500.00 as a reward. The caller then instructs the victim to purchase a large number of gift cards (Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Walmart) and call them back with the PIN. The victim is typically told where to purchase the gift cards and advised not to disclose the reason for the purchase to anyone. Police say victims could also be told say they are purchasing the cards as gifts for their children or grandchildren.
Police note that the suspect may also gain remote access to the victim’s computer (online banking). The promised deposit appears in their daily banking account; however, it is transferred from the victim’s line of credit/savings unbeknownst to the victim.
In this scam, the caller identifies themselves as a bank employee and advises the victim that one of their credit cards has been compromised. The caller indicates they will deposit a large sum of money into the victim’s account (much larger than what they are alleged to have lost), however, the victim is then asked to transfer back a portion of the money. The suspect may gain remote access to the victim’s computer (online banking). The promised deposit appears in their daily banking account, however, the deposit is transferred from the victim’s line of credit/savings unknowingly.
In this scam, according to police, the caller identifies as some sort of police or other law enforcement agency, or a lawyer representing a loved one. The caller directs the victim to initiate a money transfer. The caller is often asking for thousands of dollars to “post bail” for a victim’s loved one. Older adults are often the target of this scam because they want to help their grandchildren.
In addition to warning residents about these scams, Halton Police have also issued the following reminders.
- No government agency, financial institution or legitimate business will ever ask someone to make payments in gift cards, money transfers or wires.
- No government agency, financial institution or legitimate business would give someone money and ask for a portion to be reimbursed.
- No government agency, financial institution or legitimate business is ever going to ask someone to help them in an internal fraud or similar style investigation.
- No law enforcement agency, bailiff or lawyer will contact someone asking for bail money to be wire transferred.
“If you are ever in doubt, please contact the police for assistance,” notes the release. “Please safeguard yourself and your loved ones by discussing these scams and what to do when a call like this is received.”
Halton Police are also reminding people that if they ever feel they have been targeted by a scam to hang up straight away.