Scam uses fake Service Canada letter, threat of arrest to target Mississauga, Brampton residents


Published February 23, 2023 at 12:07 pm

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(Photo: Jefferson Santos)

Mississauga and Brampton residents are being warned about a new extortion-style scam in which fraudsters tell would-be victims they’ll be arrested if they don’t respond to an official-looking letter seeking their social insurance numbers (SIN).

Peel Regional Police re-tweeted an alert this week from the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre that urges people to be on the lookout for emails in their in-box that contain a bogus letter supposedly from Service Canada.

The fake letter, which includes a bogus case number, informs the recipient that their SIN “will be terminated within 24 hours” and accuses the would-be victim of using a false identity.

The letter concludes by urging the recipient to call a toll-free phone number “if you have any questions or concerns.”

“If you call the phone number in the letter, fraudsters will ask for your SIN and threaten that if you don’t send funds immediately, you’ll be arrested,” the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre alert reads.

“This is a scam,” the alert concludes.

Numerous people responded online to the tweet.

“If anyone asked me for my SIN, that would be my first clue (that it’s a scam),” wrote one respondent.

Another commented that, “This is so sad because some will think it’s real.”

One respondent suggested that the spelling used should be a clue that the letter is bogus.

“The American spelling of ‘endeavors’ (endeavours) ought to be a dead giveaway.”

Peel police, law enforcement agencies across Ontario and Canada, and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre continually keep the public informed of the latest scams used by fraudsters.

This past Christmas, when scams are more prevalent each year, authorities made public 12 of the most popular holiday scams. Variations of the frauds are used throughout the year.

For more information, visit Peel Regional Police or Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre websites.

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