Sault police warn of phone fraud involving fake bank employees, gift cards
Sault Ste. Marie police says they have received at least three complaints from the public recently related to calls from scammers pretending to be bank employees. (File)
SUDBURY -- Sault Ste. Marie police say they have received at least three complaints from the public recently related to calls from scammers pretending to be bank employees.
"In all three incidents, potential victims were told $1,800 was wrongfully withdrawn from their account, the institution caught the error but deposited $2,200 back into their account," police said in a news release Wednesday.
The scammers then try to convince people to purchase $1,000 in gift cards to 'refund' the money. They also instruct people on the phone not to contact their bank, financial institution or police.
"Luckily, all three of the potential victims realized this was fraudulent and did not send them gift cards or money," the release said. "Seniors were the targets in all three incidents police are aware of."
Police are urging everyone to review their finances regularly to ensure there are no irregularities in their accounts.
"If someone contacts you requesting money while also asking you not to tell anyone, it is a sign something is not right," police said.
"If you ever have any concerns about a potential scam or fraudulent activity, please contact police by calling 705-949-6300."
To keep safe, police advise residents to never share personal information with anyone you do not know over the phone, since you are not obligated to share your information with others.
"Do not be shy about asking the person on the phone questions about why they are requesting money or personal information," the release said.
"If you have second thoughts, end the conversation. It is not rude, it is cautious. Protect yourself and your personal information at all times."
For more tips to protect yourself from fraud and identity theft, click here.