The Thunder Bay Police Service has received numerous reports recently about unsolicited phone calls coming from people fraudulently claiming to represent a financial institution.
In one such report, the intended victim was contacted by a person claiming to represent Visa. The fraudster told their target that money was owing and arrangements would have be made to pay the debt.
The target, however, was not a Visa holder and immediately recognized the call as a scam.
This is a relatively common scam and callers could be posing as representatives of various financial, or government, institutions.
These scammers are experts at creating a sense of panic and urgency. This oftentimes leads victims into making decisions they otherwise wouldn’t and complying with the scammer’s request.
Please remember that when contacted unsolicited by any institution, you have the right to hang up on these callers.
If you believe the suspected fraudster may in fact be a legitimate representative of the organization they claim to be with, then please locate their contact information and connect with them on your terms. Do not use contact information the caller provides you with, and do not trust phone numbers provided to you via your caller display. Caller IDs can be spoofed.
Please take time to speak to your more vulnerable friends and family members who may be more aggressively targeted by these kinds of scams.
To learn more about frauds and scams visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre here: www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca.