WINNIPEG -- Winnipeg Police are warning people about reports of a phone scam, believed to be targeting local phone numbers.

Police said a scammer will call a victim pretending to be a criminal investigator, and tell them they owe money to the Canada Revenue Agency.

In some instances, callers were then told to dial the Winnipeg Police Service non-emergency line, 204-986-6222, while still on the line – to confirm that an investigation is underway. Police said, the victim is then made to believe they’ve started a new call, yet the scammer is still on the line.

Other incidents have included Caller ID spoofing – where the scammer appears to be calling from the Winnipeg Police non-emergency line. The scammer then pretends to be an officer and tries to convince the victim to transfer significant amounts of money.

The Winnipeg Police Service is reminding people of tips to avoid these scamps:

  • Be cautious of any unexpected callers, such as a bank. Take reasonable steps to confirm the identities of people who call;
  • The Canada Revenue Agency will never demand immediate payment by Interac e-transfer, bitcoin, prepaid credit cards or gift cards from retailers such as iTunes, Amazon, or others;
  • They will also never use aggressive language or threaten you with arrest or sending the police;
  • Do not assume phone numbers appearing on call display screens are accurate. (Source Winnipeg Police Service)

Police are also encouraging people to have a conversation with their older loved ones to make sure they aren’t being targeted in any scams.

For more information you can visit the Canadian Ati-Fraud Centre.