FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John RCMP says a new phone scam targets residents in the area by claiming there is a warrant out for their arrest.
As of August 4th, the detachment says they’ve received 14 calls from people who have received phone calls where a robotic voice claims the Canada Border Services has intercepted a package with their name on it. The voice then claims the package was deemed suspicious or contained illegal contraband, and a warrant has been put out for their arrest.
The scammers are using technology to make it seem like they’re using a different phone number, which is called “spoofing”, according to the RCMP. The call display during these scams shows that the call originated from the Fort St. John detachment.
“People are calling and attending the detachment in person because this scam instills fear,” said Constable Chad Neustaeter, Media Relation Officer for the Fort St John RCMP.
“In a time when online shopping is at an all time high, and many people are ordering products that come from outside of Canada, this technique can be very effective in getting people to respond.”
After the voice informs the targeted individual that there is a warrant, it asks them to press ‘1’ to speak with an agent. The detachment says it is unknown what happens afterwards, as most people received a voicemail and called the detachment to determine the warrant’s validity.
When individuals try to call the number back, they reach a legitimate business or individual who doesn’t know what the call was about, according to the detachment.
RCMP is informing residents that law enforcement agencies don’t use digital voice messages for important information such as warrants but will call in person and discuss the matter.
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