Possible scam ‘survey’ falsely claims to be from Langley City

Residents in and around Langley have been receiving multiple calls

Someone is impersonating Langley City and pretending to conduct a survey, but police warn it may be a scam.

Both the City and the RCMP issued a warning Thursday morning after a number of phone calls to local residents in recent days.

The calls claim to be conducting a survey, and the call display claims the caller is Langley City.

However, the call display information is likely being “spoofed,” said Cpl. Holly Largy, spokesperson for the Langley RCMP.

“It is possible for industrious criminals to manipulate the call display so you don’t know who is really calling,” she said.

It’s unclear at this point exactly what the scammers are after, but police are warning against giving the callers info.

“It is imperative that you don’t share any personal information over the phone with an unsolicited caller or through internet inquires,” Largy said.

Fraud and identity theft are concerns when personal info is stolen.

The calls have been scattershot. At least one person who complained to Langley City doesn’t even live in Langley, Largy said.

“Some people reported getting four of five calls in a night,” she said.

Police are asking people to review 10 tips to prevent scams and frauds:

1. Spot imposters. Scammers often pretend to be someone you trust, like a government official, a family member, a charity, or a company you do business with. Don’t send money or give out personal information in response to an unexpected request — whether it comes as a text, a phone call, or an email.

2. Do online searches. Type a company or product name into your favourite search engine with words like “review,” “complaint” or “scam.” Or search for a phrase that describes your situation, like “Canada Revenue call.” You can even search for phone numbers to see if other people have reported them as scams.

3. Don’t believe your caller ID. Technology makes it easy for scammers to fake caller ID information, so the name and number you see aren’t always real. If someone calls asking for money or personal information, hang up. If you think the caller might be telling the truth, call back to a number you know is genuine.

4. Don’t pay upfront for a promise. Someone might ask you to pay in advance for things like debt relief, credit and loan offers, mortgage assistance, or a job. They might even say you’ve won a prize, but first you have to pay taxes or fees. If you do, they will probably take the money and disappear.

5. Consider how you pay. Credit cards have significant fraud protection built in, but some payment methods don’t. Wiring money through services like Western Union or MoneyGram is risky because it’s nearly impossible to get your money back. That’s also true for reloadable cards (like MoneyPak or Reloadit) and gift cards (like iTunes or Google Play). Government offices and honest companies won’t require you to use these payment methods.

6. Talk to someone. Before you give up your money or personal information, talk to someone you trust. Con artists want you to make decisions in a hurry. They might even threaten you. Slow down, check out the story, do an online search, consult an expert — or just tell a friend.

7. Hang up on robocalls. If you answer the phone and hear a recorded sales pitch, hang up. These calls are illegal, and often the products are bogus. Don’t press 1 to speak to a person or to be taken off the list. That could lead to more calls.

8. Be skeptical about free trial offers. Some companies use free trials to sign you up for products and bill you every month until you cancel. Before you agree to a free trial, research the company and read the cancellation policy. And always review your monthly statements for charges you don’t recognize.

9. Don’t deposit a cheque and wire money back. By law, banks must make funds from deposited cheques available within days, but uncovering a fake cheque can take weeks. If a cheque you deposit turns out to be a fake, you’re responsible for repaying the bank.

10. Report a scam. Visit the AntiFraud Cente at http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/reportincident-signalerincident/index-eng.htm.

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