A Sarnia man was bilked of $17,000 in the Service Canada telephone scam.
Someone pretending to be a Service Canada agent called and told the man on Oct. 11 his identification had been stolen, that a warrant was out for his arrest for money-laundering, and he needed to visit a bank and pay a fee or go to jail, Sarnia Police say.
The victim, who was told he’d be arrested if he went to police, withdrew $2,600 and bought gift cards, scratched off the pin numbers, and read them to the fake agent.
The victim was then told he had to pay another $10,000 to have the charges dropped. He drove to London and, with help from family, deposited the money in a Bitcoin ATM at a variety store. Threated again with the legal fees, he deposited another $5,000 into a different Bitcoin machine.
On the drive home, the victim provided the caller with his address and other personal information, believing a police officer would be showing up with a refund, police said.
After almost seven hours on the phone the victim finally hung up.
Sarnia Police says if someone calls demanding money or threatening arrest, simply hang up, and tell your family to do the same. You will never get in trouble for simply hanging up the phone.