Kingston Police have issued a media release noting that they “wish to inform the public about an ongoing credit card scam.”
According to police, the scam involves the victim being contacted by phone by someone claiming to be a representative from a credit card company. The caller then tells the victim that their credit card has been used fraudulently.
“The caller will often inform the victim of the date, time, and place the card was used as well as the amount charged to the card,” Kingston Police said on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022.
“This information is fabricated by the caller.”
Police said that the caller then asks the victim to “assist” the credit card company in catching the person who used their card, directing the victim to attend a variety of business and to purchase gift cards, including those from PayPal, Amazon, and Mastercard. During these purchases, the caller remains on the phone with the victim, and then requests that the victim provide them with the serial or identification numbers on the back of the cards.
“The caller often instructs the victim to say the cards are Christmas presents if questioned. In some cases, the victim is contacted the following day by the same individuals requesting they purchase more cards,” police shared.
“The Kingston Police wish to remind members of the public that neither a credit card company nor a financial institution would ever request that a member of the public purchase gift cards on their behalf to assist with an investigation.”
In response to inquiries from Kingstonist, Const. Anthony Colangeli, Acting Media Relations Officer for Kingston Police, said instances of these scams are occurring locally. While he was unable to give an estimated number of reports police have received about this fraudulent activity, Colangeli did say that, since Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, two victims have contacted police due to the scam.