April 25th, 2024

MHPS highlights mass marketing and phone scams to end fraud prevention month

By MEDICINE HAT NEWS on March 27, 2024.

The Medicine Hat Police Service finishes fraud prevention week in Canada highlighting mass marketing and phone scams.

MHPS says mass marketing and phone scams are one of the most common frauds, with the fraudster wanting to obtain personal information or be provided money from victims in any method.

Whether is it by phone or by email, police caution residents who are not certain if they are talking to someone legitimate. They say to end the conversation and contact the business directly to confirm. Fraudsters can use phone numbers that are “spoofed”, or copied, to look legitimate, or emails that look real but are not.

One type of phone scam is an emergency scam or grandparent scam where the scammer contacts a person posing as their relative and they sound scared. The scammers will make up a story that they have been arrested for a crime (such as an impaired driving collision), they are being held in jail somewhere and need money. Police say they will often request the money be wire transferred to a certain place, often out of the country and will say the money is going to a lawyer, as bail, or for fines and they cannot tell their parents.

“Remember to always check with your family members to determine if an emergency call is legitimate before transferring money,” the release says.

Another common scam involves people posing as professionals from the Canada Revenue Agency, Canada Border Services Agency, Microsoft or computer technical support or government officials in hopes to gather personal information or have money sent to them.

Police say these kinds of fraudsters may request e-transfers, gift card codes, crypto currency or credit card information and they remind residents that no legitimate company or government agency will request gift cards codes or crypto currency as payment.

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