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Phone scammers claim to be from Crown Attorney's office

The suspects say that a crime has been committed with the victim's identity and transfers them to a crown attorney, police warn
2019-05-15 YRP Headquarters DK crop
File photo/NewmarketToday

Investigators with the York Regional Police Financial Crimes Unit are reminding citizens not to trust the information displayed on caller ID or the phone number displayed for incoming calls after reports of fraudulent Amazon calls, with suspects claiming to be from the Newmarket Courts or Crown Attorney’s office.

In recent incidents, fraudsters have made contact with victims by telephone and have identified themselves as being a representative from Amazon. The fraudster tells the victim a crime has been committed involving the victim’s identity and transfers them to speak with a Crown attorney. The victim is then told there is an investigation and personal information from the victim is needed in order to clear up the identity issue with Amazon.

Neither the Superior Court of Justice nor the Crown Attorney’s office make phone calls demanding money or detailed personal information. Any call or email of this nature should be considered a scam. If you have concerns about the possibility of being involved in a police or criminal investigation, this should be discussed, and confirmed, directly with your local police service.

A large number of frauds that occur over the phone involve the use of phone number spoofing. This involves the suspects utilizing software programs or other technology to alter the caller ID to display false information. Suspects can make it appear as though a call is coming from any organization or business. In most cases they pose as government agencies, police services, the Canada Revenue Agency and other legal entities. Citizens are encouraged to confirm who they are speaking to through their own research and never trust the information displayed on an incoming call.

York Regional Police is reminding citizens to be cautious and to confirm any suspicious calls or emails they receive before providing any information. If a situation feels suspicious, trust your instincts. Do not be talked into providing personal information or payments by methods that you are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with and call companies or agencies back to verify information.

If you have been a victim of a fraud, and have lost money, report the incident promptly to York Regional Police either online or by calling 1-866-876-5423. To report frauds where no money has been lost, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online or by calling 1-888-495-8501.