Public Business and Consumer Safety Alert

It’s come to my attention over the last year in Canada we’ve been receiving an increasing amount of fraudulent calls of which continue to be active despite reports to authorities. In the Alberta area with regularity, my businesses get calls from Filipinos asking if I am looking to move my office soon. They have claimed to be from the BBB (Better Business Bureau), Chamber of Commerce, and the Government of Alberta. On investigation, they are not and widely known to be fake as these organizations do not ask you if you’re moving soon. Needless to say, they’re pretty daring and don’t seem to care when you call them out on the fact that you know they’re fake.

Today I received a call from a Filipino lady calling about my phone number that had long since been switched. She claimed to be calling from Telus and had a Telus phone number.

Some immediate warning signs of the fraudulent scam caller:

  • Latency in answering my call which suggests either a weak VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) automated system which Telus isn’t much of a proponent of and will always discourage you on how bad they are. Honestly, it felt like an eternity before she answered.
  • Her diction was really bad and Telus tends to verify their employee’s diction skills with a computer/auditory test.
  • She didn’t address me by name and addressed me by my first name only saying, “It says on here,” which would indicate she probably just scraped my personal information from the Industry Canada website.
  • She was calling about money for an account long since deactivated which she claimed was still active.

I thanked her for calling and promptly hung up on her as I knew it wasn’t Telus. I called Telus and they confirmed that it was, in fact, a fraudulent call and that while the number was authentic it was spoofed. This means the number displays as authentic but it was in fact fake. I asked her if I talked to the security/fraud department if they could trace it but was informed that if the call was done outside of the country there was no way for them to tell. I asked her then how do I verify the calls I am receiving are authentically from Telus. The Telus representative said there is no way to verify your calls are actually coming from providers unless you actually call them directly.

If you should for any reason receive a call from the government etc regarding your personal information such as your social insurance number, tax number or anything of payment sensitive nature it is largely advised to ask for their extension to call them directly. Your inbound calls are not secure and you are not safe from fraud unless you verify and call out the number yourself by checking to see it is the right number on their website. I hope this stops a lot of people from getting ripped off from widely rampant fraud in this country. Fortunately, I am very tech savvy and didn’t get my identity stolen today.

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