If you've received a call from a Toronto Police line number, chances are you're not actually in trouble. Authorities are warning Torontonians not to be taken in by a Toronto Police phone scam. The message comes after several residents reporting answering calls which claimed to be from police but which went as far as asking for individuals' credit card information.
According to the Toronto Star, the TPS is investigating the calls using their non-emergency service line, 416-808-2222. Apparently, these calls are coming from an advertising agency and are targeting residents who speak Mandarin.
Using a police number as a cover to target susceptible residents is cleary a pretty low thing to do, but unfortunately scam calls such as this are a repeat problem for many.
PUBLIC ADVISORY: City of Toronto - An advertisement company has spoofed our non-emergency number - The company is d… https://t.co/b6PVQD9Z2i— Toronto Police Operations (@Toronto Police Operations)1565287481.0
These automated calls have been making the rounds for a while, with one Twitter user reporting they've been using different numbers.
@TPSOperations @HafizDoc This company has been doing those calls for months now. I have managed to block so many of… https://t.co/yA4rwa3HTk— Obsession much (@Obsession much)1565294588.0
You can rest assured that the Toronto Police wouldn't make calls using that particular number. In most instances, the call appears as being from a private number, according to the Toronto Star.
The actual non-emergency line itself is used only for incoming calls to report either theft, vandalism, or fraud according to the Toronto Police website.
These particular calls are fairly new but these types of scam aren't.
Some people shared their experiences of such schemes.
@TPSOperations Apparently Service Canada is going to seek legal action against me because my SIN was compromised...… https://t.co/8FZhnSABet— Mojo (@Mojo)1565353285.0
@TPSOperations I’ve gotten robo calls from spoofed numbers belonging to Canada immigration and two other government… https://t.co/W5FSonWaLz— Melanie Feltham (@Melanie Feltham)1565293794.0
@DABBADO13 @TPSOperations @dmrider I've been getting them for years. You'd think they could get a better recording at some point?!? LOL— Tara B (@Tara B)1565318175.0
@TPSOperations I’ve been getting 3 of these, maybe 4, a week for almost a year now. Every single time it’s a new #.— Wayne (@Wayne)1565342277.0
Toronto Police are telling the public not to give out any private information such as your Social Insurance Number, any banking information, or personal address.
In doing so, you're exposing yourself to the possibility of fraud, and you could be severely affected in the long run.
Narcity has reached out to Toronto Police for comment, and this article will be updated with new information.