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Halifax Regional Police is reminding the public to be vigilant regarding phone-based scams

Recently, a common scam has resurfaced in the Halifax area where people posing as retailers call a potential victim claiming to alert them to a fraud which involves the use of their credit card.

After the initial conversation, the intended victim may be advised to call police or their credit card provider to verify the authenticity of the call. The victim will hang up and do so, unaware that the original caller has not disconnected. The victim believes they have contacted police and/or their financial institution, but they are still connected to the suspect posing as police or credit card provider. The scammer will then encourage victims to attend their bank branch and immediately transfer funds to a specific account that is supposedly intended to safeguard their funds until the “investigation” is complete.

The scam may vary in detail from person to person depending on the circumstances.

The scam appears to be directed at persons using their home-based phones. There is no

particular phone provider associated to the victims. Additionally, there is evidence to indicate that, in certain cases, the callers may already possess some of the banking particulars of the intended victim.

Police in Halifax have received one report of this scam to date however, it is being seen across the country.

Investigators reminded citizens of the following:

  • 9-1-1 is for emergencies where people or property are at risk. 9-1-1 call-takers will not forward your call to a police investigator.
  • If you are in doubt about the security of your personal funds, attend any branch of your financial institution and make inquiries in person.
  • Financial institutions will never advise you to transfer funds to external accounts for security reasons.
  • When contacted via phone by people claiming to be police officers, bank employees, or officials, take reasonable steps to ensure their claim is truthful.
  • Do not assume that phone numbers appearing on call display screens are accurate.

Readily available “call-spoofing” technology is frequently utilized by criminals to provide inaccurate caller information.

If you’ve lost money or provided personal information as a result of this scam, please report the matter to the Integrated Financial Crime Unit at 902-490-1985. There is no need to report that you’ve been contacted in relation to this scam if you’re not a victim.

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Source : Media Release

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