This bulletin was prepared to warn Canadians of ongoing financial scams. The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) is receiving reports of a violent extortion text message. The message threatens that if a payment is not sent, you and your family may be targeted and harmed. The messages claim that victims have used a service, and wasted the suspect’s precious time. Some of the reports show that the messages may also include photos of weapons as an added attempt to intimidate victims.
Based on reports received, victims have not used the service which fraudsters are mentioning. Similar to other extortion scams, fraudsters are attempting to scare victims into sending funds. Extortion scams are defined as “when someone unlawfully obtains money, property or services from a person, entity, or institution through coercion”.
Warning signs – How to protect yourself
• If you receive a violent message, report it to your local police immediately.
• Remember that fraudsters use high-pressure intimidation tactics to try to steal your money.
• Be wary of any unsolicited message, including those that are threatening or accuse you of owing money for a service you never had or planned to have.
• Do not reply to threatening messages.
• Do not send money under pressure.
• Learn more tips and tricks for protecting yourself.
Anyone who has received a similar violent extortion message should report it to their local police immediately. After contacting local police, it is important to report to the CAFC via its online reporting system or by phone at 1-888-495-8501