TISDALE — A Tisdale resident received a call from an individual claiming to be with the Tisdale RCMP, and the caller display matched — but what they wanted was ITunes gift cards.
The scam phone call was reported to the Tisdale RCMP on Nov. 15.
The scammer used a technique known as “cloning” in which they can make the number that appears on caller display into what they want it to be.
Cpl. Mike Benjamin said this was the first time he has heard of a cloned number in the area.
“I’ve known that they have the capacity to clone but that’s the first time I’ve heard,” Benjamin said.
The call started as a typical scam where they claimed to represent Service Canada, and the client owed money that needed to be repaid or the resident would be arrested.
“They asked the person over the phone what the local RCMP detachment’s phone number was and he gave it to them,” Benjamin said. “Within a few minutes he got a call from somebody — but the call displayed on the phone was the RCMP’s number.”
He said as a result of this, the resident almost fell victim to the fraud.
“A lot of these frauds are asking for ITunes cards and wiring money to accounts in different countries. That should be a clue right there something is not right. Basically, people need to confirm everything.”
When receiving a call where sensitive information will be discussed Benjamin recommends hanging up the phone and calling the verified number afterwards to confirm who the person says they are.
As a result, hanging up the phone on an alleged RCMP officer and calling the detachment back is not just the right call to make, but encouraged if police action is being threatened.
“If they’re being told the local RCMP is coming for them, call the detachment because we don’t do that kind of enforcement,” Benjamin said.
While the scam artist can appear to call from that number, it’s only a caller display trick.
“Confirm everything by making the phone call yourself,” Benjamin said. “Don’t give out personal information unless you’re 100 per cent sure that’s what you want to do and again, confirm.”
He said the same rules apply if they claim to be from a bank.
“If they’re saying they’re from the bank and the bank is going to collect then hang up and call the bank themselves.”
The phone number for the Tisdale RCMP is 306-878-3810.