Hamilton, Ontario ,

Social Insurance Number Scam

The Hamilton Police Major Fraud Unit continues to see a rise in people becoming victims of online fraud. Frequent reoccurring scams involve criminals pretending to be government officials seeking money for taxes or immigration fees. These scammers will direct victims to “pay their fines” using gift cards and increasingly the use of Bitcoin Machines. The criminals will keep you on the phone so that you can’t call anyone or ask for help.

Recently there has been an increase in calls purporting the unauthorized use of your Social Insurance Number. In many instances, a recorded call will come to your phone directing you to call back immediately, or press “1” to avoid prosecution. DON’T CALL BACK - DON’T PRESS “1”. No official administrative center will ever contact you through a text, use high-pressure tactics, be disrespectful, or require you to pay any money through gift cards or using Bitcoins. NO GOVERNMENT AGENCY WILL EVER ASK FOR PAYMENT IN BITCOIN, BUT SCAMMERS WILL. IF YOU HEAR THE WORD BITCOIN - HANG UP!

Everyone believes they would never fall for such scams but please make sure you talk about it with your friends, family, and neighbours. Some people are more susceptible to deceptive tactics and require more help to ensure they are aware of these fraudsters.

The list of frauds and scams is large and changes every day. The easiest way of combatting this crime is by not falling victim to it. When in doubt – JUST HANG UP.