This month, NT RCMP, in partnership with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, want to bring to people's attention the different methods used by fraudsters to target their victims, and provide tips on how to avoid falling into the trap.
Let's talk about our phone: most of us would not go a day without them. But as convenient as smart phones are, they are also the #1 contact method used by fraudsters in 2019.
Direct call is a method fraudsters use to call their victims under false pretenses.
An example of this, is the automated dialing. An auto dialer is a device or software that automatically dials telephone numbers. Once the call is answered, the auto dialer either plays a recorded message or connects the call to a live person. Fraudsters may use lists of phone numbers (gained legally or illegally) or they may setup the dialer to call all possible configurations of phone numbers in a given region.
Robocalls are phone calls that use an auto dialer to deliver a pre-recorded message. The recording message may use a computerize/robotic voice or that of a real' person's. If you are registered on Canada's National Do Not Call list, this should filter out a large number of unsolicited calls. Still, some organizations like registered charities, political parties, survey companies, newspapers soliciting subscription, are allowed to use robocall. If the recorded message you hear does not fall under this list, you can assume the call is fraudulent.
Spoofing is a method used to alter the information provided on Caller ID. The number might look legitimate, using your area code or displaying the recognized number of a specific organization (i.e. law enforcement or government agency).
Disconnect is when the fraudsters will sometimes ask that you end your current call and immediately call the number on the back of your card or another phone number they provide you. When you complete the second call, you are almost instantly connected to the same person you were just speaking with. That is because the original call was never completely disconnected.
How to protect yourself from direct call scams:
- Register your phone number for free with Canada's National Do Not Call List at: http://Innte-dncl.gc.ca/en.
- If you're not expecting a call or do not recognize the Caller ID, let the call go to your answering machine.
- Caller ID information can be spoofed. Do not trust the information to be genuine.
- If you answer the phone and it is a recorded message, hang up. Do not press 1 or call back.
- Whenever you're asked to make a secondary call, wait a few minutes after ending the original call or call back from a different phone number.
- Never provide your personal or financial information over the phone if you did not initiate the call.
- You should never feel pressured to provide personal or financial information over the phone.
- Ask questions. If the caller cannot or will not answer, hang up.
- If you're still unsure about the call, talk to someone about it.
If you think you or someone you know has been a victim of fraud, please contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or report online at www.antifraudcentre.ca. NT RCMP also encourage to report to your local RCMP detachment.
Learn about fraud by visiting: www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca