The Millstone has heard from two readers since yesterday who have had phone scammers trying to intimidate them into sending money for fraudulent reasons.
One reader in the Riverfront Estates subdivision in Almonte received a call from “a man with a strong Asian accent” claiming to be with the police and demanding that money be sent to resolve a legal issue purportedly affecting her. On reporting the call to Lanark OPP the reader was advised that two other households on her street had received similar calls. Needless to say they were all bogus.
Another reader in Almonte was targeted by a caller claiming to be with Canada Revenue Agency, who demanded money to resolve a supposed outstanding tax matter. She says:
I received a [recorded] call today, from somebody purporting to be from Revenue Canada, urging me to call back the number they were giving me — which they repeated several times — on a matter involving my account, and which they said was “time-sensitive.”
They suggested I should not ignore this call, as it was very important — either I or my attorney should call them back.
I didn’t call back — I called the OPP instead. They said that this scam has been operational for about a year now, and many people have been caught by it. The male caller had a very thick East Indian or Pakistani accent. He was calling from 226-400-1051. The police didn’t bother to take the number from me, as they said they get changed every couple of days anyway.
Best policy, if you aren’t sure whether the call is legit or not, is to take the contact info from the individual and tell them you’ll call back. Then call the general number for Revenue Canada — not the number the person gave you — and ask the switchboard to connect you to any person by that name. You’ll probably find that there’s either no such person working there, or, if there is, that they didn’t just call you about your file.
This is good advice. Neither the police nor Canada Revenue will EVER call a citizen and insist on immediate payment for something. If you receive such a call report it to Lanark County OPP, 613-267-2626.