Vancouver-based telecommunications giant Telus is warning Canadians about a sudden surge in a common phone scam.
Telus says wireless and landline customers are being affected by fradulent phone calls, particularly in BC and Alberta. Businesses have also been targeted.
"The latest scam involves ‘spoofing’, where a fraudster re-programs the caller ID signal to make it appear they are calling from a legitimate business, claiming to represent that organization," explains the telco. "When someone picks up the scam call, the imposter on the other end of the line claims to be Telus or another well-known organization, saying the person they called has won a prize. Other variants of the scam ask you to press 1 to receive a prize. The imposter will then try to convince the person they’ve called to hand over personal information and credit card numbers in order to collect the alleged prize. This can result in unauthorized charges to a credit card or identity theft."
Telus says customers must not give out personal financial information over the phone:
The calls are fraudulent, and in no way related to Telus or other companies the scam artists claim to be Telus with. Consumers should never enter their credit card information when prompted to by an unknown caller or automated call. Telus recommends customers simply hang up if they receive a call. If unsure when receiving a call from someone claiming to be from a company and asking for information, TELUS recommends they either hang-up or ask for a number to call them back at directly ensure they are speaking with someone legitimate.
Telus has a Fraud Management Centre which is available to assist customers and give fraud awareness presentations.