Scammers definitely get the wrong number – TownAndCountryToday.com – Town and Country TODAYApril 28, 2022
BARRHEAD – Some marks are more difficult to dupe than others.
Two weeks ago, a scam artist claiming to be from "Shared Services Canada" cold-called a Barrhead-area resident advising the proposed mark that there had been questionable activity regarding his social insurance number (SIN).
The person on the other side of the phone — Barrhead RCMP Detachment Commander Sgt. Bob Dodds.
"I received three of those types of calls, right after another," he said, adding other RCMP members received similar calls.
Dodds added that was a bit surprising because RCMP members numbers are blocked, and as a result, scammers know their chances of success are not as high, so they often hang up.
"They said that my social insurance number had been flagged for fraudulent activity, and there was a warrant for my arrest," he said.
The voice then told him to press One to continue.
Although he was fairly confident someone in the detachment or higher up in the chain of command might inform him about his pending arrest, Dodds decided to press One.
"He gets on the line, saying he is officer so and so from Service Canada, and he proceeds to ask me for my name," he said.
Dodds decided to continue to play along, giving the scammer a fake name.
The scammer proceeded to tell Dodds, that he had his file open, and he saw that there was some fraudulent activity with his SIN before asking him to confirm his number by giving him the last three digits.
"I told him I was a bit nervous about doing that, especially since a Barrhead number is coming up on my call display," he said, noting the number on the call display was a 780-284 number, which is typically assigned to Barrhead area cellphones.
Dodds said most likely the number was "ghosting" the last one the scammer called, meaning that the area could have been a target.
The scammer continued to claim that he was from Service Canada and that there was an outstanding warrant for the arrest of the fictitious person Dodds had made up.
Shortly after, the scammer decided to cut his losses and hung up the phone.
Unfortunately, Dodds said there was not much else he could do.
"At the end of the day, they are pretty good at covering their tail and since he did not get any money out of me, there was no offence committed," he said. "But I figure the 10 minutes I can keep him on the phone is 10 minutes that he doesn't have to try to defraud someone else who could be more vulnerable."
And although Dodds decided to have a little fun with the would-be scammer, he suggests the best defense against such calls is to simply hang up.
“Don’t engage with them that’s what they want.”
Barry Kerton, TownandCountryToday.com
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