BANFF – Mounties have issued a warning to Banff residents who are receiving the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) about phone scammers trying to steal money and obtain personal information.
Over the past few weeks, Banff RCMP said victims of these calls were told that they are being investigated and money is owed to CERB, Service Canada, taxes and other government groups. In some instances, scammers have said arrest warrants were issued.
“These fraudulent callers attempt to obtain money and personal information from the recipient, threats of arrest and incarceration are made,” said Cpl. Natalie Rice in a press release. “In some cases, local phone numbers have been used, and in other cases, police phone numbers have been spoofed and names of police officers have been used. Please be aware of these calls and do not exchange any personal information or money.”
CERB gives financial support to workers affected by the COVID-19 situation. If eligible, a worker can receive $2,000 for a four-week period.
Rice said there has been a known phone call fraud that re-circulates over the years, but noted there has been an increase over the past two weeks in Banff.
In Canmore, Sgt. Stan Andronyk said there hasn't been many reports of CERB-related phone scammers, but said residents should continue to be cautious of any unusual requests for forms of payments.
RCMP advise residents that if someone is unsure about a call they have received, to hang up, and call the organization in question to get clarity on what is being asked.
If you have been targeted by such calls and scams and have provided personal or financial information, call the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at: 1-888-495-8501 or www.antifraudcentre.ca.