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Vancouver police warn of new scam: fraudsters presenting themselves as Vancouver police

Vancouver police say bold fraudsters are using a new scam where they present themselves as officers of the VPD.
Vancouver police say bold fraudsters are using a new scam where they present themselves as officers of the VPD. File / Global News

Vancouver police are warning the public about a new scam, one that appears to victims to be originating from the Vancouver police.

Police say the fraudsters are using a variation of the old Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) scam.

But there is a brazen new twist: the scammers are using “spoofing” to make it look like they are calling from the Vancouver police.

READ MORE: Fraudsters use fake dial tone, phony cops to allegedly defraud Vancouver seniors of $3.1 million

The scam involves two telephone calls to the victims.

These are some of the common CRA scams to look out for
These are some of the common CRA scams to look out for

In the first call, the scammer claims to be a CRA agent and tells the victim to look up the Vancouver Police Department’s (VPD) non-emergency number.

Victims then receive a second call that appears to be coming from the VPD number they’d recently looked up.

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READ MORE: From bomb threats to handcuffs, police warn scammers growing increasingly aggressive

A scammer then presents themself as a police officer, and gives out a fake badge number.

The fake officer tells the victim that their social insurance number has been used to create credit card accounts with large balances.

4,000 victims have reported losses over $15.2 M over CRA scams: RCMP
4,000 victims have reported losses over $15.2 M over CRA scams: RCMP

The victim is told that they are responsible for paying off the debt, and are told to do it with Bitcoin or gift cards.

READ MORE: Fake kidnappers ‘spoofed’ their cellphone, then scammed their partner for a $10K ‘ransom’

Police are reminding the public that they will never call you from the VPD’s non-emergency line, and that officers will never ask for payment.

Anyone who gets one of these calls is asked to hang up immediately, and to report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online or toll free at 1-888-495-8501.

Anyone who has been a victim of fraud is asked to contact Vancouver police.