Yesterday one of our staff members checked her voicemail and found a nasty message from an “Officer” Robert William asking her or her attorney to call him immediately before “the legal situation unfolds”. Our quick thinking staff member Googled the number, 905-581-1528 and discovered that it was a phone scam.
Had she called them, she would have been asked her personal information including her SIN. Armed with that info, the crooks would have applied for credit cards and loans in her name, leaving her on the hook for the payments. Only after months of paperwork and expensive legal fees would she have been able to clear her credit record and name.
This is just a reminder to never give out information people already should have, over the phone, in an email or text. If someone calls you and tells you they are from your bank, a vendor, the CRA, RCMP or Calgary Police Service:
- Ask for their name.
- Tell them you will call them back.
- Call the organization’s switchboard directly using a number that you obtain from a Google search or that you have used before.
- Ask for the individual by name.
If they insist that the only way to reach them is through a number that they give you, you know that it is not a legitimate call. If they tell you that they may not be available when you call back, you should be able to have your account or file reviewed by someone else in the same department.
Remember, no legitimate agency threatens legal action over the phone.