FraudRedFlags: RCMP asks you to have the conversation

Posted on September 20, 2016

The Nova Scotia RCMP is using #FraudRedFlags to arm residents with tips to spot phone fraud and is asking you to talk with friends and family about how to recognize red flags and identify phone scammers.

In recent months, the RCMP has received numerous reports of callers posing as Canada Revenue Agency employees to demand victims pay back-taxes by purchasing iTunes cards and providing the activation codes. There have also been reports of callers impersonating victims’ relatives and police officers to get money and information. In some cases, an RCMP detachment phone number shows on the call display.

In an effort to protect residents, the RCMP is asking you to spread the word about red flags that identify scammers.

“We want Nova Scotians to have the conversation about these phone scams and #FraudRedFlags,” says Cst. Tammy Lobb. “Fraudsters target vulnerable people – including students and seniors – but they will call anyone and aggressively make up reasons why people should give them money or information.”

The RCMP wants Nova Scotians to be aware of what to look for and have a conversation about the following #FraudRedFlags:

1.) The caller will ask you for something. Credit card information, money transfers, iTunes gift card verification codes, information about you or your property; scammers are always scheming up new things to ask for.

What to do: Hang up! Do not provide money or information about yourself. If a caller asks for money, consider whether it makes sense given your history and relationship with the organization or the person who claims to be on the line. Report the call to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

2.) The caller will try and stress you out. Scammers create a sense of urgency by demanding quick action or warning of risks to victims, their loved ones or their property if demands aren’t met.

What to do: Hang up! It can be scary to say “No” but do not let them intimidate you. Report the call to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

3.) They may impersonate someone and make threats. Scammers are impersonating Canada Revenue Agency employees and threatening severe penalties if back-taxes aren’t paid in the form of iTunes gift cards. They are impersonating police officers and threatening to charge and arrest people. They are also pretending to be relatives in desperate need of financial help.

What to do: Hang up! If a caller is pretending to be a CRA employee, police officer or family member, consider whether they are talking to you in a way that makes sense given the organization or the person who claims to be on the line. Report the call to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

4.) Don’t let the phone number fool you. Many fraudsters are using a program that shows legitimate phone numbers on caller ID displays.

What to do: Hang up! Don’t let your guard down just because the phone number seems legitimate.

5.) Trust your gut. If something seems “off”, it probably is. Fraudsters can be very convincing but many victims get a hunch that something just isn’t right.

What to do: Hang up! Report the call to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

The RCMP wants Nova Scotians to be aware that fraudsters will try a lot of things to get their way. Fortunately, many fraudsters give themselves away by revealing a red flag, so look for signs of fraud and have the conversation with your friends and family. Follow @RCMPNS on Twitter and “Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Nova Scotia” on Facebook for more #FraudRedFlags tips.

If you believe you may be the victim of fraud or have given personal or financial information in error, contact your local police service and your financial institution. If you have not been victimized, there is no need to contact police but you can report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.


Antigonish RCMP

902 863-6500


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