SUDBURY -- The Temiskaming Ontario Provincial Police is warning the public about a phone scam involving fraudsters claiming to be police officers.

"The fake cops are calling potential victims advising that their bank has noticed suspicious transactions and the fraudster requires the victim's social insurance number and the amount of funds in their bank account," police said in a news release Friday.

To make the scam more convinces, the fraudsters are using caller ID spoofing, which the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre describes as disguising telephone numbers appearing on a caller ID display.

"This popular tool allows scammers to disguise their calls, as the call will appear to be coming from local or familiar numbers to trick people into answering the phone and trusting the caller," police said.

Variety of scam tactics

"Be aware that these fraudsters may use a variety of other scam tactics as well. Scams are designed to create anxiety so that victims respond quickly or are pressured into sending money rapidly in order to fix the problem."

The OPP or any other police service wouldn't contact individuals via email or telephone for the purpose of getting their SIN and the police will not ask you for banking information.

Here are some tips to avoid become a fraud victims:

- Don't trust your call display. It may say 'police' or 'ABC,' but in reality, it is actually a scammer. It doesn't matter what the caller ID says, you cannot trust it.

- If you get a call from someone who says they represent a company or a government agency seeking personal information, hang up and call the phone number on your account statement, in the phone book or on the company or government agency's website to verify the authenticity of the request.

- Never give out personal information such as account numbers, social insurance number, mother's maiden name, passwords or other identifying information in response to unexpected calls.

If you or someone you know have become a victim of fraud and have been tricked into giving personal or financial information, contact OPP at 1-888-310-1122 and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or through their online reporting tool.