Investigators in the Financial Crime Section of the Integrated Criminal Investigation Division are advising citizens of two on-going scams in our community. Both are recurring scams that HRP and RCMP Halifax District have reported on previously.
The first scam is a recurring one where seniors are contacted by a person alleging to be their grandchild. The person claims to have an emergency and be in need of money for various reasons. It has been determined that these calls are not legitimate, and in most cases, the suspect does not have the name of the grandchild and seeks this information from the victim as part of the scam. As we have seen in past situations, the suspect tells the senior that he will be sending a courier to their residence to get the money. There is no evidence to suggest in any of these incidents that the suspect knows where the senior lives. Citizens should be suspicious of any calls asking for money and ensure the call is legitimate before sending any money.
In the other scam, an individual contacts people by phone and poses as a representative of a utility company. The caller states that the person’s account is in arrears and the only way to make payment is through a pre-paid credit card. The caller provides a telephone number and instructs the victim to call back with the pre-paid credit card information. Once the scammer has the pre-paid credit card information, the money can be instantly downloaded and is not recoverable. People should also be wary if a service provider insists on obtaining payment through a pre-paid credit card. When in doubt, obtain the name of the person you are speaking with and, using the contact information provided on an account statement or another reliable resource, call the company to inquire about the situation.
HRM Partners in Policing also remind people not to give personal information to anyone, whether solicitation occurs by telephone or in person, unless you have initiated the contact or you are certain of the identification of the individual and the legitimacy of the organization they claim to represent.
If you have been the victim of a scam, please report the matter to police by calling the Financial Crime Unit at 902-490-1985 or online at https://www.halifax.ca/police/NonDispatch/index.html