While I usually focus my blog on Cybersecurity, this week I’d like to use my time to help in a different way. Call it a Public Service Announcement if you’d like. I call it helping my fellow humans, and please be sure this is in line with what we at Nuvollo stand for, helping society at large! And I would like to ask you to share this with others, you never know who you may help!? I’m sure these scams happen elsewhere in the world.
Yesterday I received a Robocall from “Service Canada”, the pre-recorded message told me that my Social Insurance Number (SIN) was being terminated due to criminal activity, to prevent this from happening press “1” to speak to an agent. Well you know I had to do it, cause of what I do for a living. After pressing “1” immediately someone on the other end says “hello this is Service Canada”. I immediately said “do you want my SIN number”? Yes please answered the person, I proceeded to use some expletive’s that I will not repeat here, and advised the person of what I do for a living! They immediately hung up.
Sadly though not everyone knows about these scammers that I prefer to call PREDATORS. Even though this has been ongoing for so many years, these creeps catch enough people to make it worth while to keep doing it. My call was clearly to try and steal my identity but most of them this time of year are looking for money. And they get it, in a big way!
Their PREY is usually the elderly and new Canadians who just don’t know better, and sadly it usually ends up being the people who can’t afford it. They scam them in to buying huge amounts of gift cards (I have to keep it generic), to pay their taxes, which they don’t even owe! But these people believe them and get very scared because they believe this is actually and agent from Canada Revenue or some other government agency.
One year a family member of mine saw an elderly lady buying one thousand dollars worth of a certain gift card, he noticed the transaction, he ran up and stopped the cashier from processing it (he is the manager after all). He very politely asked the lady “madam are you buying these as a gift for someone?”, her reply was what he was expecting, “no I am buying them to pay my taxes, I got a call from the CRA (Canada Revenue Agency).” He stopped her, took her aside and assured her that the CRA would never accept gift cards as payment for taxes and that she had been scammed. To say she was appreciative is putting mildly! But most go unnoticed and cashiers just process the sale without question.
Some retailers large and small have signs posted at their checkouts this time of year clearly stating that the Government will not ask for nor accept gift cards as payment for taxes. But sadly not all, maybe it’s time the actual government makes this mandatory?!
I’ve attached a link to the actual Canada Revenue Agency website that has a lot of great information to help protect people from these PREDATORS. Think of someone you care about getting scammed before leaving this unshared!
There is another new scam in Ontario you should know about, since the Premier announced that there will be no more license plate stickers, and there will be a refund given, the police are advising of a new text message scam. See the story in the link below.