Community Safety

Residents reminded not to give out personal information over the phone

The Timmins Police Service has been made aware of several fraudulent phone scams occurring in the area and is reminding residents not to give out personal information over the phone, or through email or text messages.

Police have received reports of numerous residents receiving phone calls, text messages and emails from individuals claiming to be the Canada Revenue Agency, who state that the resident owes money and must pay immediately to avoid arrest, or a lawsuit. Residents have also reported receiving text messages or emails stating they have a refund waiting, and must enter personal information in order to claim the funds.

Police would like to remind residents that these types of communications are not legitimate. If unsure about the legitimacy of a caller, do not provide them with any personal or banking information, or click on any links in emails or text messages.

Residents should note that the Canada Revenue Agency does not request information through email, text message or over the phone, and communicates primarily through registered mail. The CRA will not leave personal information on an answering machine, request payment via prepaid credit cards, or ask for personal information through a text message or email.

If residents are unsure about funds owed, it is recommended that they contact the Canada Revenue Agency directly.

In addition to the ‘CRA scam’, police have also received reports of similar frauds, for example individuals receiving notification that a direct deposit is waiting and must be claimed as soon as possible. These emails and text messages also contain red flags, including no sender being identified, or the sender being unknown to the supposed recipient.

Once there is a loss of funds by a resident, it can be difficult for police to track the individuals who are committing these types of fraud. The best way to prevent becoming a victim of fraud is to protect all personal information.