Millennials aren't fans of answering the phone to begin with and these horrifying calls sure won't help. If you receive any calls from an overseas number you don't recognize this weekend, be aware. The police have issued a warning about a Vancouver phone scam in which victims hear a "woman in distress" on the other end.
Calls like these have been reported by several Vancouverites this week. Similar incidents have also been reported by another police force in western Canada.
Vancouver Police revealed on Friday that they had received six reports in the last week from people who got "calls from an African area code and heard a recording of a woman in distress.”
On Twitter, police highlighted the case of one victim, who had actually been called from a U.K. number.
The Twitter user said they had received “the most terrible scam prank call.”
They said the woman on the line was “screaming/ sobbing as if being attacked.”
When the user asked who was on the phone, they said the woman had responded, “it’s me!!”
When asked about the reason for the calls, the Vancouver Police said that no motive has been “made clear to the people who received” them.
It sounds like a similar scam has hit other areas of western Canada this week as well.
Lethbridge News reported on Thursday, February 27, that its city police had warned residents about a kidnapping or ransom scam.
We can confirm that we have had six reports in the last week of people who received calls from an African area code… https://t.co/SCOZeBEgOk— Vancouver Police (@Vancouver Police)1582916952.0
Apparently two residents reported receiving suspicious calls on Tuesday, February 25.
The police said one of the residents had answered the call and “heard a female scream and was told by a male that her daughter had been kidnapped before the line disconnected.”
Lethbridge Police explained that multiple people in Calgary had received similar calls from Jordanian numbers on the same day.
“The kidnapping/ransom scam typically begins with a phone call alleging a family member has been kidnapped or is being held captive,” informs a police statement.
“Often screams can be heard in the background. Callers will typically demand cash – usually via wire transfer – to ensure the safe return of the victim.”
Scam calls have become a big problem across Canada, and telecom companies have been trying to crack down on the frequency of them.
Last August, for example, Toronto Police was forced to act when people started receiving calls that seemed to come from officers asking for their credit card information.
Vancouver Police was forced to step in last October when it emerged that fraudsters posing as officers were demanding Bitcoin or gift cards to pay off fake debts.