Prince Edward Island RCMP are aware of a number of scams of late claiming to originate from Service Canada and/or the RCMP and some reference the call recipients Social Insurance Number (SIN) and involve threats of police or legal action. The calls are what are known as "spoofing" and can be quite sophisticated.
Spoofing is when a caller deliberately falsifies the information transmitted to your caller ID display to disguise their identity. Scammers often use neighbour spoofing so it appears that an incoming call is coming from a local number, or spoof a number from a company or a government agency that you may already know and trust. If you answer, they use scam scripts to try to steal your money or valuable personal information, which can be used in fraudulent activity.*
In some instances, the scammer spoofed a local RCMP phone number and identified themselves as an RCMP officer. The scammer will advise the resident that their SIN had been compromised and their identity stolen. The scammer then advises that a warrant has been issued for their and that officers were on their way to her residence to make an arrest.
If you receive calls from entities of this nature, hang up and call back to make sure the call originated with the agency noted. Make sure to use contact information noted on their website or documents, not a number that the potential scammer may have provided.
Remember, the RCMP does not ask for funds over the phone. Anyone who receives these types of calls or believes they may have been the victim of fraud, is asked to contact their local detachment or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.
Some additional tips:
If you answer the phone and the caller - or a recording - asks you to hit a button to stop getting the calls, you should just hang up. Scammers often use this trick to identify potential targets.
Use caution if you are being pressured for information immediately.
Do not respond to any questions, especially those that can be answered with "Yes" or "No."
Never give out personal information such as account numbers, Social Insurance Numbers, mother's maiden names, passwords or other identifying information in response to unexpected calls or if you are at all suspicious.
If you get an inquiry from someone who says they represent a company or a government agency, hang up and call the phone number on your account statement, in the phone book, or on the company's or government agency's website to verify the authenticity of the request.
*Information from the Federal Communications Commission: https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/spoofing-and-caller-id