CORNWALL, Ontario – The Cornwall Police Service (CPS) is warning the public about a scam circulating in the Cornwall area.
In this scam, fraudsters are calling residents, claiming that their Social Insurance Number (SIN) has been blocked, compromised or suspended. Fraudsters may add that this is due to their SIN being linked to fraudulent or criminal activity, such as drug trafficking. The caller attempts to rectify the situation by instructing the victim to purchase gift cards, and provide the PIN on the gift cards to the fraudster.
When calling, the fraudster is often claiming to be from a government agency, such as Service Canada, Canada Revenue Agency, or various others. In some of the scams hitting the Cornwall area, the fraudsters are claiming to be an employee of the CPS.
Know the signs:
- Criminals are now regularly using “call-spoofing” to mislead consumers. This technology is easily available. Do not assume that phone numbers appearing on your call display are accurate.
- No government agency will contact you and tell you that your SIN is blocked or request you purchase gift cards in order to rectify the situation.
How to protect yourself:
- Never provide personal information over the phone to an unknown caller.
- If you provide personal information, contact Equifax and Trans Union to place fraud alerts on your accounts.
- Slow down and talk to a trusted loved one before sending personal information or money to anyone you do not know.
If you have been a victim of a fraud, and have provided personal information or money to someone, please report it to the CPS by calling 613-932-2110 ext. 3.
For more information on ongoing scams, please visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website.