Vishing Scam Targets Nova Scotia Credit Card Holders

By: Gary Parkinson on January 14, 2013

Halifax residents should avoid giving any personal financial information over the phone.  The Halifax Police have reported several complaints from community residents about phone calls where the caller poses as a police officer, and requests credit card information.  The police identify this type of deception as vishing, and advise victims to report any suspicious activity to the Halifax county sheriff’s office or Crimestoppers.

The fraudulent calls supposedly originated within the Halifax Police Department, according to recipients of the calls.  The callers presented themselves as police officers.  They were told the security of their credit cards and bank accounts had been compromised, and that they had to confirm their credit card account numbers over the phone in order for the police to investigate.

Halifax Regional Police spokesperson Constable Pierre Bourdages says these are fraudulent calls and are part of a telemarketing scam identified as vishing, where fraudsters compile this information to enter unsuspecting victims’ credit card and bank accounts.  Bourdages says there are ways to identify if a caller is a police service representative or if the call is a scam.

The Halifax Police non-emergency number is labeled as a blocked number on caller id – if caller id lists a number and the caller claims to be representing the Halifax Police, it’s a fake call.  The Halifax Police would never ask for personal credit card numbers over the phone, and advise all cardholders to never supply that information while on the phone.  Bourdages asks any victims who suspect fraud to immediately disconnect, and call the Halifax Regional Police number 902-490-5016 or call Crimestoppers to report the crime.

Police on Cape Breton Island have also received complaints about calls that supposedly originated from the Halifax Regional Police Department, suggesting the telemarketing scam is widespread.