Be wary of phone scammers, say Chatham-Kent police

Chatham-Kent police remind people to use caution when they’re asked for money after a man nearly lost $20,000 in a phone scam Tuesday.

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Chatham-Kent police remind people to use caution when they’re asked for money after a man nearly lost $20,000 in a phone scam Tuesday.

The man received a call on his cellphone from a number that appeared to be from the Chatham-Kent Police Service.

This approach is called phone spoofing. Scammers use software to disguise their calls as local numbers and mislead people into thinking the calls are from a reputable business or person.

The man was told his social insurance number had been compromised, so police were seizing his bank accounts and credit cards. He was also told to withdraw $20,000 and deposit it through a protected Bitcoin account.

He withdrew the money but decided to bring it to the police station instead. He received another call from the scammer while he was there.

An officer took the call and told the scammer they were speaking with Chatham-Kent police. The scammer immediately hung up.

People should not withdraw money, e-transfer, money transfer or buy gift cards until they’ve verified a call is legitimate by calling the appropriate agency directly, police said. Do not use the number given by the scammer.

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