SIN Call Scam Targets Northwestern Ontario

Fraud

THUNDER BAY / DRYDEN – NEWS – People across Northwestern Ontario have been targetted by a Social Insurance Number scam.

The Dryden Police Service and the Thunder Bay Police Service are warning the public about a very active SIN (Social Insurance Number) scam.

Numerous reports have been received from individuals indicating that they have received multiple calls from a 1-800 number demanding their Social Insurance Number or risk being arrested.

This is a Scam.

Police say that people are in some cases receiving multiple calls in a day with a similar threat.

The Dryden Police Service wishes to remind the public not to divulge personal information over the phone.

If you feel you are the victim of a fraud, please contact the Dryden Police Service. Please note you should also report your fraud to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or www.antifraudcentre.ca

Complaints being received by local phone numbers state callers are asking for the last three digits of the target’s Social Insurance Number (SIN). The fraudster tells the target the SIN is connected to a crime and that if they cannot provide the number they’ll be contacted, and potentially arrested, by local police.

THIS IS A SCAM.

Never provide your SIN to a caller even if you cannot verify they are attempting to scam you. Remember caller IDs can be masked, so someone should not be trusted simply because they have a seemingly legitimate caller ID.

The Thunder Bay Police Service strongly encourages residents to speak with potentially vulnerable family members and friends about these ongoing scams. These would-be fraudsters are experts at creating a sense of urgency and panic. This panic leads to quick decisions, which oftentimes leads to success for the scammer.

The elderly and foreign students, who may have limited understanding about Canadian laws, are sometimes more aggressively targeted.

The advice from police is that instead of engaging with these callers,  simply hang up and independently contact the institution in question if you are thinking there is any validity to the call.

Do not use any contact information provided by the suspicious caller. Never provide payment to people who phone you, especially if they require payment through unique means like gift cards and pre-loaded credit cards.

Government agencies never accept payment in gift cards, or require payments sent through money wiring services like Western Union.

The Thunder Bay Police Service is unable to stop these calls from being made. If you are concerned about potential scams and want to learn more please contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/)

Do not call 911 if you received a call from a potential fraudster. Do not call the non-emergency line about attempted phone scams.