Police Warning the Public About Ongoing Scam Targeting All Canadians
The Peel Police is warning, and reminding, the public about an ongoing ‘phishing’ scam that has been circulating and is targeting all Canadians.
Police have received reports from residents in the Peel Region who have received emails or text messages from people posing as government or bank officials from various federal agencies, financial institutions, or service providers (such as the Canada Revenue Agency, or a bank or cell phone company).
According to police, the email or text message leaves the recipient to believe they are entitled to a refund or credit to their account.
“The email will go on to provide very specific instructions on how to receive the refund through the recipient’s credit card or bank account,” reads a media release. “The email will request a credit card number or a bank account number in order to enact a supposed refund or credit.”
The mail could also include an internet link, prompting the recipient to bank account information. Victims may also be asked to provide personal information including their name, address, and social insurance number.
Police have provided the following tips in order for people to protect themselves:
- The Canadian government and/or bank officials will not contact you by email or text message, asking for your all personal and banking information.
- Do not take immediate action - verify that what you are being told is the truth.
- Ask yourself why a government official would be asking you to send copies of personal documents that they already have on file.
- Beware of email spoofing - fraudsters can manipulate the sender address to appear legitimate.
- Talk to friends, family and loved ones about this scam and help them to protect themselves.
- If you believe you are entitled to a refund or credit, contact the agency, bank or service provider directly through a contact number you have sourced from their legitimate website.
For more information, visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website at www.antifraudcentre.ca.
Anyone with information pertaining to these scams is asked to contact the Fraud Bureau at (905) 453-2121, ext. 3335. Information may also be left anonymously by calling Peel Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or by visiting peelcrimestoppers.ca.