Sherbrooke police warn of phone scammers using official-looking numbers to trick residents

A new piece of sophisticated technology is being used by fraudsters to scam unsuspecting people over the phone. (iStock/Bombuscreative)

Police are urging Sherbrooke residents to remain vigilant against telephone fraud reported this week, with fraudsters using police phone numbers to contact unsuspecting victims.

Numerous complaints have reportedly been filed by citizens to the police over the past week.

Sherbrooke police say people may see scammers using the phone number 819-821-5555 on their displays, as offenders are able to mask their actual coordinates.

The caller may claim to be from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) or Service Canada. They may falsely tell residents that their social insurance number has been compromised, and that a warrant for their arrest has been filed.

The scammer will then ask the victim to pay an amount of money on the spot. To do this, the caller will ask that the victim go to their bank, withdraw the amount, convert it to bitcoin, and transfer it to the scammers.

Police say this is a common scam. When it works, it can be difficult for police to track the perpetrators, they say.

-- This report from the Canadian Press was first published on Feb. 3, 2021.  

SIGN UP NOW

Stay up-to-date and in-the-know by subscribing to one of our newsletters