Toronto police issue new warning about scam artists intercepting 911 calls
For the average person, while a call from Toronto police would usually be cause for concern, cooperating with the officer on the other end of the line would likely be the first, most prudent course of action.
But authorities are advising residents to be extra wary of calls coming from anyone alleging to be a cop lately, as there's a new scam trend that could cost you a hefty chunk of money, or worse.
Local police had to issue a PSA this week to warn residents of a phone fraud in which scammers impersonate an officer — a detective from the city's 51 Division specifically — and recommend that the person on the line call 911 to confirm, if they don't believe them.
When the victim then calls the emergency line, the connection is intercepted by fellow scammers who then trick them into disclosing personal details about their identity and finances.
Apparently, it's an issue that's been reported across Southern Ontario in recent days.
When the victim calls 9-1-1, the call is intercepted by accomplices attempting to obtain personal and financial information.— Toronto Police (@TorontoPolice) May 16, 2022
Reports have been received across Southern Ontario. We are unaware of a successful attempt so far. If you have been scammed, please report it.
The message has been getting a ton of traction on social media, where people are wondering how likely it is that a call could be interfered with on a cell phone, and also noting that being asked to contact emergency services in a non-emergency is a clear red flag.
Many speculate that the scam likely targets landlines (to fake the 911 correspondence if the person is unwilling to divulge their information at first), and thus older citizens, who are unfortunately the most at risk for frauds like these.
The force is asking that anyone who gets a call from "police" to call their division to verify, and to "make sure you have successfully hung up before dialing again."
People are also being asked to report any similar scam experiences to the actual authorities.
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