RCMP warn to be on alert for phone scams

Stettler RCMP are warning people to be on alert as phone scams have been making their way over the province.

Stettler RCMP are warning people to be on alert as phone scams have been making their way over the province, typically pretending to represent a bank or the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

The intended victim will receive the call from someone claiming to represent one of these agencies, asking for personal information such as date of birth, address, banking information, account numbers and so forth, Stettler RCMP detachment commander Sgt. Phil Penny said.

“These conversations tend to be quite aggressive, or they’ll use threats to issue fines in an effort to ‘bully’ the information out of a person,” he said.

The scams target the elderly or individuals with lesser reasoning capabilities and can result in a loss of money or identity theft.

“The thing I like to tell people is that if these agencies are actually calling you, they should have all that information already and shouldn’t be seeking it out over the phone,” Penny said. “From speaking with various banks, it’s not their practice to ask such questions.”

Penny said the best practice is to be suspicious — if there’s any doubt, tell the individual you’re not comfortable with the line of questioning and hang up. Phone the bank, if they’re claiming to be from your bank, and confirm with them if there is a problem.

It’s also important scams are reported to the police, which can be done through phoning the detachment at 403-742-3382, or report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre through its website at www.phonebusters.com.

School resource officer role vacant — for now

Following the departure of Const. Bill Lewadniuk, who transferred to Red Deer RCMP to focus on fraud, the student resource officer (SRO) role has been vacant, and will remain so for a while longer, Penny said.

“(We’re) awaiting confirmation of a suitable candidate from our staffing section,” Penny said, adding that he’s uncertain of the timeline in having the position filled.

The SRO spends the school year working with schools in the County of Stettler, usually through the DARE program, though he or she also handled events like bicycle rodeos.