Telephone scam alert
The North Bay Police Service has received several complaints this morning from residents advising that they received a call from an unknown male claiming he is from VISA telling them that their cards have been compromised and requesting personal information. The fraudster knows the names of the people he is calling. All of the people who have been targeted have their names listed in the phone book, but several of them do not even own a VISA card.
Residents are advised that this is a telephone scam and that they should never give out personal information, such as birth dates, Social Insurance Numbers, credit card of bank account information over the phone, through the mail, or over the Internet, unless they have initiated the call themselves and know the business they are dealing with is reputable.
What to do if you are a target of this telephone scam
- Simply hang up!
- Contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre to report the incident at 705-495-8501 or visit online at antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca. The CAFC plays a crucial role in educating the public about specific mass marketing fraud pitches and in collecting and disseminating victim evidence, statistics and documentation, all of which are made available to law enforcement agencies.
Protect your credit card from identity theft
VISA’s Protect Your Personal Information brochure is available online. It includes the following tips:
- Sign all your credit cards as soon as you receive them and never lend them to anyone.
- Shred all personal and financial information (e.g., bank statements, credit/ATM receipts, credit card offers, credit card bills, etc.) before you throw them away.
- Be careful about sharing or disclosing your personal information. Do not give personal information out over the phone, through the mail, or over the Internet unless you are the one who initiated the contact and know the person or organization with whom you are dealing. Before you share any personal information, find out how it will be used and if it will be shared.
- Pay attention to billing cycles or to a lack of mail being delivered to your address. It is possible a fraudster is illicitly intercepting the mail.
- Protect your Personal Identification Number (PIN) at an ATM or when using a credit card machine.
- Don’t record or keep an ATM PIN, password, or Social Insurance Number (SIN) in your wallet.
- Don’t volunteer any personal information when you use your credit card.
- Don’t give any personal information such as birth date or credit card information over the phone, through the mail, or over the Internet, unless you have initiated the call and know the business you are dealing with is reputable.
- Don’t give out your Social Insurance Number, or any bank account details, unless you are dealing with the government, your employer, or your bank directly, and initiated the contact. Your employer will need your SIN for income tax reporting purposes, and your bank account number for payroll purposes.
- Don’t leave receipts at ATMs, bank counters, or unattended gasoline pumps.
- Don’t leave your purse or wallet unattended at work, restaurants, health clubs, in a shopping cart, or at social gatherings.
- Don’t lend your credit cards to anyone, ever.
For more information download the complete copy of VISA’s Protect Your Personal Information: Tips and Tools to Help Safeguard You Against Identity Theft.