The Abbotsford Police Department (APD) is warning the public to be wary of scam phone calls that appear to be from the APD.
Sgt. Judy Bird said police are investigating two cases in which fraudsters called a victim, claimed to be an officer with Service Canada, and advised that the victim’s identity had been compromised.
The fraudster then stated that they would connect the victim with the police to verify the claim.
The victim was placed on hold, and then received another call that showed “Abbotsford Police” on the call display.
A second fraudster identified himself as a police officer, and confirmed that the victim was involved in an ID fraud investigation.
The caller told the victim that they could assist in securing their account by depositing $5,000 in a Bitcoin cryptocurrency machine.
“These types of calls are placed with technology which easily allows the caller to select a specific name or number to appear on the recipient’s call display,” Bird said.
“The fraudster will usually claim to be a person of authority and ask for personal information such as a social insurance number or banking information.”
Bird said phone scams are becoming more sophisticated, making it easier to coax victims into sending them money.
“Unfortunately, many individuals who do fall victim to these scams cannot recoup the money they send,” she said.
Bird advised that anyone who suspects they are the target of a phone scam resist the urge to act immediately no matter how dramatic the story is and hang up and call the police agency directly to verify the legitimacy of the call.
She said police agencies will never request money or personal information.
Bird also advised to not send payment to a physical address and to be wary if cash, gift cards or cryptocurrency – such as Bitcoin – are requested.