Your phone is ringing, and you check the caller ID display, which tells you the call is coming from a source you trust. You answer, and the caller on the other end describes an urgent business matter demanding you share personal information, such as your SIN (Social Insurance Number), or your banking information for an urgent payment.
On November 4, 2019 police received a report of a phone-call fraud attempt that appeared on call display to be from the Regina Police Service. The caller, claiming to be a Regina Police Service member, explained that there was a warrant out for the resident’s arrest, and that they required information to verify their identity. When the caller did not get the proper information, they directed the potential victim make a payment to the police by purchasing specific gift cards. Fortunately, the retail business which sells the gift cards encouraged the potential victim to notify police who confirmed the request to be fraudulent.
Caller ID display can be manipulated so it appears to be from a trusted organization. Caller ID Spoofing software has become openly available and requires minimal effort, which means a scammer can pretend to be anybody on your phone’s caller ID display. Until this situation changes, it’s up to the person receiving the call to be vigilant and refuse to give personal or financial information over the phone. Likewise, don’t comply with any unsolicited phone caller who demands payment in gift cards.
- A Canadian Police Service will NEVER call to demand that you bring them money.
- Reputable organizations will NEVER ask for gift cards as a form of payment.
Remember, no matter how urgent the story or authoritative the caller, it’s your personal information and you do not need to share it over the phone. If the caller claims to be from a business you trust, call the business back on a number you know is correct. DO NOT use a call-back number that the caller has provided.
If you are a victim of a Caller ID spoofing scam, or any other fraud, please call the Regina Police Service at 306-777-6500. Due to the extremely high volume of fraudulent call attempts, if you have received a fraudulent call but are not a victim (meaning you have not shared your personal information, bank information, and have not made any payment) then there is no need to call police.