New fraud scheme targeted Torontonians and was able to fleece them out of more than $5M. Further evidence that phone scams are everywhere and with advances in technology, fraudsters seem to be getting smarter as well.
New Phone Scam Targeting Canadians
This new phone scam was targeted for land line users rather than cellphone users. It also seems to have the technology to keep calls connected and stay on the line even after victims hang up and call their banks or 911.
Toronto police shared that five victims from Toronto were drained of more than $5M, a huge sum!
The fraudsters pretend to be concerned retailers who are just alerting the victim of a possible fraud that is currently happening using their credit card. They then suggest that the victim should call their bank or 911 which the victims promptly do as soon as they hang up…only that the call isn’t really over because the fraudsters are using technology that allows them to stay on the line. The fraudsters also pretend to be the victim’s bank or 911 when the victims thought they’ve dialed a new call. From herein, they convince the victim that the card fraud has to be investigated so the victims will have to move their money to an external bank account.
What the Police Says
Det. Sgt. Ian Nichol says that the fraudsters are pretty good pitch men. He also shared that the fraud has foreign involvement but that he can’t disclose where the calls are from more so that there may be domestic involvement as well.
Nichols shared that one thing the police can say is that this specific phone scam was engineered for landline use as the fraudsters seem to have created a way to make their modus possible.
Police also shared that those who were victimized weren’t the type that would fall for scams. They added that this emerging scam could be targeting a lot of residents in Canada and must have been going on for the past few months as some of the victims shared.
Police believe that the victims were duped into providing their information and were prevented from seeking further help early on because the fraudsters convinced them that things must be kept under wraps as the supposed case is under investigation.
The smart criminals even told victims that bank employees could be in cahoots with fraudsters, further making victims think that they are dealing with the right authorities. The fraudsters were also reported to conduct follow up calls to update victims about the status of the ‘investigation’.
The calls would usually go on for a few days and only stop after the fraudsters have fleeced off everything they can from the victims (after they have withdrawn all money).
More Investigation Needed
The police are currently trying to find out if the victims were targeted because they have money or if the fraudsters simply got lucky with the calls they made. They are currently following leads and hoping they can catch the scammers before they strike again.
Worried that you’ll be targeted for a phone scam as well? It pays to be well-informed! Read about how phone scams can trick you and don’t forget to report suspected cases to the proper authorities. If you need help tightening your security measures or investigating possible fraud, feel free to contact us.