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SaskTel warning about increase in scam calls from international numbers

SaskTel is putting out a warning for their customers to be aware of scam calls they’ve been hearing about recently. 

In a release on their support page, the provincial telecommunications company says they’ve seen an increase in the number of scam calls originating from international locations.  These calls, SaskTel says, are usually made using auto-dialers allowing the scammers to call many people at once, and can impact people and communications providers all across the country.

Lloydminster RCMP Sargent Brad Mouland says while there haven’t been reports of this scam specifically in Lloydminster, nuisance calls like this are a year-round concern they address.

“Depending on the type of scam we’re hearing about, there’s a lot of different things that could be happening. They could be trying to obtain personal information or, trying to engage in some kind of conversation where you could get involved with a financial transaction.”

SaskTel says if someone receives an international call they’re not expecting, they should not answer or call back if they miss it. Engaging with the call could lead to the potential to be scammed along with long-distance charges just for calling overseas if that’s where the scam originates. If a person accidentally answers the call, they should hang up immediately for these same reasons. 

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Mouland adds that the RCMP will always follow up on reports of scams, but the first line of defence is residents being aware of scam potential whenever they see an unknown call. 

“Depending on the nature of the phone call, and the conversation that’s gone by with the person, we can always follow up and look into where that’s coming from, but sometimes these scammers are fairly in-depth, and the number may not even originate in Canada, which can make it difficult for police to follow up with.” 

If someone believes they could or have been the victim of fraud, they can call the RCMP or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.  SaskTel says they’re continuing to work with the CRTC and others in our industry to fix this problem. 

While SaskTel works to block numbers as they come up, people can take proactive steps like changing settings on iPhones with IOS 13 or later, or using apps like SmartCall on Samsungs.

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