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EDITORIAL: Phone scammers won’t go away

Some scam calls claim to be from the Canada Revenue Agency
A Williams Lake woman said she was a victim of a phone scam where the caller ID showed the call was from TELUS. (File image)

Despite numerous warnings, phone calls from scammers continue to defraud victims, either through promises of wealth or threats and intimidation tactics.

Some victims have been told they have won a lottery or another prize, but must first pay a processing fee. Others have heard digitized voices telling them warrants have been issued for their arrest.

At this time of year, some scam calls claiming to be from the Canada Revenue Agency, demanding payment or financial information.

However, while telephone scams are nothing new, technology has improved and scammers are able to spoof a telephone number when making their calls.

The telephone call may originate elsewhere in the country or internationally, but a local number shows up on the recipient’s call display.

These local numbers can include private residents, businesses and in some cases police departments. This has happened in communities including Lake Cowichan, Vernon and Summerland.

The person or organization whose number shows up may have no knowledge of the scam.

Instead, those behind the scam have simply selected a number at random. As a result, calling back to complain about the scam attempt may have no value.

Even if the call is not the standard offer of a lottery prize or the threat of arrest, the spoof calls are a serious matter and can result in a victim bilked out of thousands of dollars.

For several years, the federal government has been working to protect Canadians from spoof calls, but despite their efforts, these calls continue to come in.

Today’s communications technology is more sophisticated than ever before in history, but not every call comes from a trusted source.

Vigilance and caution are essential as phone scammers continue to seek out new victims.

— Black Press