A Vernon man thought he was receiving a phone call from the local RCMP.
The truth, however, turned out to be rather different.
Mike Warbinek received a call earlier in September with the call display signalling that it was a member of the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP.
“I answered and immediately an automated advertisement started saying that my credit card rating is excellent because I have kept up my payments. The automated ad continued to say I am eligible to receive a zero per cent interest on my credit cards and to get this offer, I have to press 1 now,” Warbinek said in a letter to the editor.
Warbinek said he quickly realized it was a scam and decided to chase it up the proverbial ladder as far as he could. After following the prompt, Warbinek was connected to a call centre where was asked which credit card provider from whom he would like to receive his no-interest card.
“I asked him, ‘How come your phone number comes across as RCMP on my call display for a credit card offer advertisement when the RCMP has nothing to do with any such advertisement?’” Warbinek said.
“He did not answer and I asked him again. He responded, ‘Thank-you, bye.’ This confirmed that this whole thing was a scam. Once you tell them you know who they are or what they are doing, they will usually hang up. The odd scammer will argue with you, but usually, they drop the call to move to others who they can scam.”
Vernon North Okanagan Const. Kelly Brett said this isn’t a common scam heard by the RCMP.
“There are lots of apps out there where you can ‘spoof’ any number to come up as whatever you want. So (it) seems like they are doing that to trick people to believe that we are calling them,” Brett said. “They are getting creative, that is for sure.”
Warbinek said he hopes to warn people that this scam is active and to refuse to deal with offers over the phone.