BBB warns of more fake calls claiming to be from Government of Canada

JUST as the smoke settles from income tax email and phone scams, BBB warns of another making the rounds that uses a government agency as the disguise. The CRTC (Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission) says many Canadians have been receiving calls from people claiming to be from the National Do Not Call List (DNCL).

“These calls appear to be trying to get people to input personal information over the phone,” says Evan Kelly, Senior Communications Advisor for Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving Lower Mainland B.C. “Just like the Canada Revenue Scams that crop up every year, we need to remind the public that the CRA does not contact people for personal information, nor does the National Do Not Call List or CRTC.”

Like many phone scams these days, the NDCL scammer uses phone number ‘spoofing’ to make it appear as though the phone is coming from an NDCL operator. The fake operator tells the individual that their number on the DNCL is about to expire and they need to re-register by inputting personal information. It must be noted that any number on the DNCL stays there permanently unless there is a request by the individual to remove it.

“Scams usually involve fake businesses or fake charities,” adds Kelly. “However more and more these days we are hearing about government agencies being impersonated. It adds a new element of believability for the unsuspecting victim on the other end of the phone. It creates a greater sense of urgency which the scammer is trying to instill.”

Just recently RCMP in Ontario released a statement about fraudulent calls being made in their name in order to commit computer related crimes. The callers demand access to the individual’s computer, something the RCMP never does.

BBB offers these tips:

* Understand that Government agencies do not solicit for personal information

* The CRTC / DNCL do not contact Canadians about the status of their phones numbers

* If you receive a questionable call, politely hang up and contact the organization yourself

* Do not give out personal information to anyone over the phone

* Report the call to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and BBB BC

Canadians that receive a call from a representative claiming to be from the National DNCL operator should not provide any personal information, including their telephone numbers. The CRTC encourages Canadians to make a complaint to the National DNCL or call 1-866-580-DNCL (3625).