Phone scammer poses as police officer calling about immigration issues

Abbotsford Police Department received four complaints on Monday

  • Aug. 16, 2016 6:00 a.m.

A fraudster posing as a police officer has been calling families in Abbotsford and telling them they have immigration issues.

The Abbotsford Police Department (APD) is warning the public about a phone scam in which the caller poses as a police officer and claims there are immigration issues with the family receiving the call.

Const. Ian MacDonald said police received four complaints about the calls on Monday. The fraudster, who appears to be targeting the South Asian community, used calller ID “spoofing” to display the APD phone number (604-859-5225).

In one of the incidents, he identified himself as “Steve Miller” and said that when the family had immigrated several years ago, they failed to fill out the proper paperwork.

He suggested they would be deported if they didn’t co-operate. The caller then asked for the names and birth dates of family members.

In all four cases, those receiving the calls became suspicious and hung up on the fraudster.

Investigators believe the man was trying to gather personal information to obtain money through credit cards or wire transfers from the victims.

MacDonald said the fraud uses a commonly employed theme where an individual is in trouble with the authorities and the remedy is to provide information and money to resolve the issue.

“We ask that the public become familiar with this theme and to make direct contact with the police or government agencies to determine the legitimacy of the communication,” he said.

MacDonald said individuals should never provide credit card information, initiate a wire transfer or purchase gift cards to resolve an issue that any anonymous caller provides.

Anyone with information about the most recent fraudulent calls should contact the APD at 604-859-5225 or text 222973 (abbypd).

 

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