Yet another telephone scam has hit the Valley.
Theresa Graham said she received a recorded message from a number in Ontario claiming to be from Service Canada, a government agency that provides people with access to a wide range of federal services and benefits.
The message informed her that her social insurance number had been compromised.
The caller said Graham’s SIN number has been suspended as a result, and she could face criminal charges if she didn’t call the number provided and discuss her situation with officials from Service Canada.
“I know that federal authorities would never call you on the phone for such things, and figured this was a scam,” Graham said.
“I called the police and reported it. I don’t have a strong heart and I’ve been shaking ever since I received the message. I just don’t know how these people are allowed to continue to get away with these kinds of scams.”
The Citizen called the number that Graham provided (1-249-493-3002) and a man with a foreign accent answered.
When asked if the number was for Service Canada, the man said yes after hesitating and taking a few seconds to answer, and he hung up when asked what office he was calling from.
A second call to the number was picked up by an answering machine which said the Citizen’s call had been rejected.
Statistics indicate that even in this age of computers, the telephone remains the scammers’ weapon of choice.
The Federal Trade Commission’s website said the commission received more than 1.1 million fraud complaints in 2019, and 74 per cent of the time, a telephone was the most common tool for the swindlers.
The FTC warns people that real law enforcement and federal agencies won’t ever call on the phone and threaten you, and people should not respond to them if they do.
Anyone looking for more information about questionable phone calls and emails should visit the Canada Fraud Centre website.