Local police and police agencies across Ontario are warning citizens of a new scam which involved suspects using “line-trapping” technology to tap into victims’ phones in order to steal personal information.
According to police, one such incident involved an Ontario police service. In that case, the scammers posed as police officers. The victim received a call from a scammer who told her that she had been the victim of identity theft. The victim was then directed to Google the identified police service in her jurisdiction, and then call to confirm her information.
When the victim called her local police, she believed she was speaking with an officer, however, police investigation found that the suspects had used a line trapping technology to remain connected to her phone line. Although the victim believed she had made an outgoing call to the police, the call had actually been reconnected back to the suspects. The victim in this incident had money and personal information stolen as a result of the scam.
Police say this recent report appears to be a new scam, and are reminding citizens to be cautious when dealing with calls or emails requesting personal information.
“No one should ever feel like they are being forced to provide their personal information or any form of payment over the phone or by email so it is important to trust your instincts if something appears suspicious,” Kingston Police said in a press release on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019.
According to police, evidence suggests that the line-trapping technology being used in these scams has a time limit of several minutes.
“If you receive a suspicious call asking you to confirm any personal information, police are recommending doing so on a delayed time line,” police said.