Halifax police are warning about scam phone calls that are being made in the Halifax area.
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Police say they received a report on Tuesday evening from a 23-year-old man who said he received a call from someone claiming to be with Immigration Canada. The man was told a complaint had been filed against him and would have to pay hundreds of dollars for legal representation. He was asked to forward funds through a money transfer.
The man told police he then received a follow-up call later from someone claiming to be a police officer and was advised to send the money referenced in the first phone call or he would be arrested. Police say in a release the phone number on the man’s call display was a general inquiries number for Halifax Regional Police (HRP) – the number is believed to have been generated by a computer program.
According to police, the man followed through with the requests, having believed the calls to be legitimate, and was defrauded of thousands of dollars.
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Police say there has been an increase in fraudulent activity involving people portraying themselves as businesses and agencies and demanding money or items of monetary value. They say threats are often involved, with the scammers telling people there will be repercussions if they don’t do what they’re told.
Immigration Canada and HRP do not ask for money or threaten people over the phone, police advise, and say people should hang up immediately if they find themselves involved in a call of this nature.
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People should contact their local police if they have lost money or given away personal information through this or any other type of scam. Police also said people do not have to call police to report they’ve been contacted in relation to this scam if they are not a victim.