Police in 55 Division warning of ongoing phone scam involving demand for gift cards

Police in 55 Division are warning residents to be wary of an ongoing phone scam.

Police in East Toronto’s 55 Division are making the public aware of an ongoing phone scam where the caller identifies themselves as an investigator.

According to police, an unknown person makes a call and identifies themselves as an employee of a bank, Canada Revenue agent, or a police officer. The call display phone number is that of the agency which makes it more believable, police said in a release on the afternoon of Thursday, May 21.

Police said the caller asks for assistance to catch a bank employee who has been stealing money and then tells the victim to send money for reimbursement fees or as “bait money” to help catch a the “employee”. The caller then connects to the victim’s computer and their on-line banking, before getting them to purchase gift cards, police said.

Residents are being warned to not give out personal information if contacted by such calls or others who they do not know. If you did not initiate the call, you do not know whom you are talking to, police said.

Police said gift cards are a popular way for scammers to steal money from you as they are like cash. Anyone who demands payment by gift card or Bitcoin is usually a scammer, police warned.

Police are also advising local residents that emails of a similar nature are also a phishing scam in a bid to extort money from the receiver.

Such incidents can be reported online to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre  which is the central agency in Canada that collects information and criminal intelligence on such matters as mass marketing fraud (i.e.: telemarketing), advance fee fraud, Internet fraud (Phishing scams) and identification theft complaints.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-2222, or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-8477 or online at https://www.222tips.com

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