Phone scam pops up in community

Police say victim fell prey to caller threatening criminal action

Sarnia Police are warning the public of a new “phone scam” that had at least one 24-year-old Sarnia resident left as a victim.

In the incident, which took place on Nov. 15, 2017, the victim received a call from someone alleging to be with the police and threatening to exercise what turned out to be a fraudulent warrant for her arrest.

The caller had used a device that showed the non-emergency number of the Sarnia Police, according to a media release issued by the force.

The victim was said to be engaged in “anti-social” activities.

Police say the victim was fearful of being deported to India and the culprit advised her that charges would be dropped if she gave them $1,000 in iTunes cards.

The victim complied with the request, purchasing the gift cards at a local pharmacy while the perpetrator remained on the line. She then went outside and read the card numbers to the culprit, according to police.

“The Sarnia Police Service would like to remind the community that no police service or government agency would ever ask you for any gift cards or pre-paid credit cards for payment of any type of fine or as a way to resolve criminal charges.  DO NOT entertain these types of phone calls and simply hang up the phone.  You will not be in trouble for hanging up, but you may find yourself in financial trouble if you decide to stay on the line and entertain the caller.”

Incidents of this nature can be reported to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, which can be reached at 1-888-495-8501.

“Remember, scam artists attack your emotions, not your intelligence,” said a Sarnia Police representative.

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