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Scammers are calling people in Ontario pretending to be court judges, police say

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Police are warning Toronto area residents “not to trust caller ID” amid an ongoing scam in which suspects are posing as court officials.

A release issued by York Regional Police (YRP) Thursday said a number of fraudulent calls during which suspects claim to be from the Newmarket courts or the Crown Attorney’s office have been reported to the service.

Investigators allege that, in recent incidents, the suspects have called victims and identified themselves as a Crown attorney or judge. The fraudster then tells the victim to provide a monetary payment or provide financial information to avoid their assets from being seized, the release states.

York police underlined that neither the Ontario Court of Justice nor the Crown Attorney’s office will ever make phone calls demanding money or detailed personal information.

“Any call or email of this nature should be considered a scam,” the release reads.

Police say frauds that occur over the phone often involve phone number spoofing, which is when the suspect utilizes technology to alter the caller ID to display false information.

“In most cases, they pose as government agencies, police services, the Canada Revenue Agency and other legal entities,” the release reads.

Police urge citizens to confirm who they are speaking to through research and never put trust solely in caller ID.

“If a situation feels suspicious, trust your instincts. Do not be talked into providing personal information or payments by methods that you are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with and call companies or agencies back to verify information,” the service said.

Incidents of suspected fraud can be reported to York police at https://www.yrp.ca/en/online-reporting/Report-a-Crime.asp or by calling 1-866-876-5423. 

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