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Police warn of caller ID spoofing scams

The Waterloo Regional Police Service has issued a warning after receiving reports of fraudulent telephone calls that have been “spoofing” the WRPS phone number.

Caller ID spoofing allows fraudsters to disguise their calls and make them appear to represent a legitimate organization.

Since May 25, police have received several reports of fraudulent telephone calls that appear to be coming from various government agencies, including WRPS.

In one instance, a person received a telephone call from a phone number that appeared associated with Service Canada. The individual was told that their Social Insurance Number (SIN) was linked to criminal activity. As a result, they were required to withdraw money from their account and purchase Bitcoin to keep their money safe. They were then locked out of their account.

The WRPS non-emergency number has also been used in spoofing scams. An individual would receive a phone call from a number that appears as WRPS: 519-570-9777. The scammer would then advise the individual that they are the police and would require cooperation or they would be arrested.

WRPS and other government agencies will not demand payment over the phone, or threaten you with imprisonment if demands are not met.

Do not simply trust what is displayed on your caller ID. If you suspect that a company or government agency is seeking personal information or money, check to verify and ensure their request is authentic, police advise.

Never give out personal information such as passwords, your Social Insurance Number (SIN), or other sensitive identification information over the phone.

If you believe you have been a victim of this scam, and have shared personal information or sent money, please report it to police by calling 519-570-9777.  If you have received a phone call, but have not provided personal information or sent money, please contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre by calling 1-888-495-8501.

MAY 26

9:35 AM | Waterloo Regional Police received a report of break-and-enter that occurred sometime overnight in the area of Lawrence Street in Wellesley. The complainant advised that his vehicle was entered and property was taken. Items including change, vehicle documents and a set of keys for his house, garage and mailbox were taken. The unknown suspect then used the set of keys to enter the complainant’s garage and stole a golf cart battery and charger. The documents and keys were later recovered on a neighbour’s lawn. Through investigation is was determined that another vehicle parked along Lawrence Street was also entered. Property including vehicle documents and a dash camera were taken. The investigation remains ongoing. Police advise residents to lock your doors and make sure your windows are firmly closed; don’t leave valuables in plain view (including cash, electronics, work tools, sensitive work data or material, jewellery or sunglasses);  and don’t leave personal identity items in the vehicle, including passports, ownership, or insurance documents. Instead, keep a copy of your ownership and insurance in your wallet.

8:30 PM | The Perth County OPP arrested and charged a person in relation to a single-vehicle collision on May 26 on Line 37 in the Township of Perth East. The investigation revealed that a van travelling westbound left the roadway, striking a hydro pole and downing the hydro lines. Upon speaking with the driver, the investigating officer learned that the driver had consumed alcohol. An approved screening device was utilized and the driver produced a roadside sample of breath that resulted in a fail. The driver was placed under arrest and was transported to the Stratford Police Service detachment for breath tests, where his blood alcohol concentration was determined to be above the legal limit. The driver, a 31-year-old Stratford man, was charged with ‘operation while impaired – blood alcohol concentration 80 plus.’ The vehicle involved was towed from the scene and a seven day impound was initiated as per statute. The accused’s driver’s licence was also suspended for 90 days.

MAY 27

1:02 PM | Waterloo Regional Police responded to Huron and Sandhills roads in Wilmot Township for a collision involving two vehicles. A white Dodge pickup truck was stopped at a stop sign on Sandhills Road when it proceeded before the way was clear and struck a red Nissan. The driver of the pickup was charged with ‘fail to yield to traffic on through highway.’ No injuries were reported as a result of the collision.

4:00 PM | Waterloo Regional Police arrested a fourth individual in connection to a stolen vehicle and assault investigation stemming from Feb. 20 report of a stolen vehicle at an address on Three Bridges Road in Woolwich Township. Upon arrival, police located a 21-year-old male inside a red Ford F250 truck with serious injuries. He was transported to hospital where he remains in critical condition. A 23-year-old Cambridge male was charged with one count of ‘attempted murder’ and one count of ‘forcible confinement.’ Two males, aged 25 and 18, and one female, aged 18, were previously arrested. They have since been charged with one count each of ‘attempted murder,’ ‘aggravated assault,’ ‘forcible confinement,’ and ‘possession of stolen property.’ Police are no longer looking for any further suspects.

11:14 PM | Police received a report of a break-and-enter that occurred sometime on May 22. The complainant advised that three unknown suspects entered their barn and filmed a video. No damage was caused to the property. The investigation is ongoing. 

MAY 30

1:01 AM | Waterloo Regional Police responded to the area of Letson Drive in Woolwich Township for reports of a gunshot. The complainant advised they heard what was believed to be a single gunshot from a farmer’s field just south of their property. A small dark pickup truck was observed leaving an abandoned farm property at the time of the incident. No further details were obtained. The investigation is ongoing, and anyone with information is encourage to contact police at 519-570-9777.

1:40 PM | Police responded to the area of Water Street in St. Jacobs for a report of males carrying rifles. Upon arrival, police located two males with pellet guns. Advice was given to them regarding bylaws and appropriate areas to use pellet guns.

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