Hang up on robotic scam calls, urges North Van police
VANCOUVER -- The voice is unmistakable: robotic, repetitive, male, slow.
The phone call comes with a threat, the voice impersonating the Canada Revenue Agency and wrongly declaring it's a "federal criminal offence" to ignore the call.
It’s a scam.
Ignoring the call is exactly what to do, say police. Hang up. Do not stay on the line to speak with an operator. Do not share personal information.
"North Vancouver RCMP receives complaints about scam calls in waves, sometimes numbering dozens in one day,” the detachment said in a news release.
Along with a reminder the CRA does not contact Canadians by phone or text message, the police have posted a recording of the fraudulent call to YouTube. It came in to Sgt. Peter DeVries, who recorded the call in full.
"Like many thousands of Canadians, I get these calls every once in a while too," he said in a prepared statement. "So I thought I would share the recorded message I recently received. My hope is that it will act as a warning to others, and perhaps prevent someone who's never heard it before from becoming a victim."
Should you be among the lucky few to have never heard this recording, you can listen to it here.
The RCMP asks the public to contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre whenever they receive a fraudulent or scam phone call. They can be reached online or by calling 1-888-495-8501.
DeVries said the North Vancouver RCMP can get dozens of complaints about the scam phone call in a day. He says this is a good thing because people “are identifying these calls as bogus” and are not falling victim.
"But for anyone out there who has never heard these calls, they may still fall for it. Our hope is this recording will add one more tool in the fight against these sorts of frauds," he said.
Emphasising their warning with all-caps and exclamation points, the RCMP gives this advice: “If something feels unusual, or if you have even the slightest suspicion that it may be a tax scam, STOP! HANG UP THE PHONE! You can always call the CRA to verify if they are trying to reach you."
The police include a reminder that the CRA will never:
- Ask for information about your passport, health card or driver's licence
- Call and demand that you pay a tax debt by crypto-currencies such as bitcoin, prepaid credit cards or gift cards from retailers such as iTunes, Amazon, or others
- Use aggressive language or threaten you with arrest or sending your information to the police
- Leave voicemails that are threatening or give personal or financial information