Vancouver police are warning residents that fraudsters are spoofing a police department number for their scam calls.
In a news release issued Thursday, police said the scammers say they are from the police department or the Canadian Revenue Agency and demand Bitcoin or gift cards to pay false debts.
The calls appear to first come from the CRA, and the fraudster gives victims the non-emergency Vancouver police number.
Then, the victim receives a call from that number and the scammer provides a fake badge number and indicates that the victim’s social insurance number has been used to create credit card accounts with substantial balances owing.
The victim is told they are responsible for the debt and told to clear it up by providing Bitcoin or gift cards.
“The non-emergency police line is for residents to use to report incidents to the police. The police will never call you from the non-emergency number and will never solicit payment,” said Sgt. Aaron Roed. “We ask that if you receive a call like this, you hang up immediately and spread the word to friends and family.”
People are asked to report the scams by contacting the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online or toll free at 1-888-495-8501.Police are also asking them to call 604-717-3321 or if they wish to remain anonymous, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.