- This Service Canada scam call from their "legal team" has been pestering me and other Canadians non-stop this week.
- Today alone I received the scam call seven times between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.
- Service Canada addressed the issue on their Twitter, but Canadians are still getting the calls like crazy and tweeting their frustrations, seen below.
This Service Canada scam call from the "legal team" has had me listening to a robotic voice demanding my SIN no less than seven times today. Sure, cold calls have been a thing for ages and I don't remember a part of my childhood that didn't include people calling my landline and asking if we needed any duct or window cleaning done.
But the scam call world is a lot scarier than simple telemarketing and has managed to become a lot more annoying than any telemarketing call could ever be.
On the day of writing this article, between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., I've received seven scam phone calls, six of which had a robotic voice claiming to be with the legal team of Service Canada.
The calls all come from numbers that begin with Canadian area codes, mainly from Ontario. I don't know if this is because many government services run out of Ontario, or because I've been too lazy to change my phone number to a Montreal area code and therefore still rock the 416.
I do think these scam calls use the area code to trick people into thinking it's a local call or legitimately a government call, so they are more likely to answer.
Service Canada is clearly aware of the issue, as they tweeted this out today, warning people to hang up.
Scam Alert! Have you received a suspicious call claiming to be from Service Canada? 📱 If in doubt, hang up and che… https://t.co/5Ulz9SYwwk— Service Canada (@Service Canada) 1573830084.0
The photos above show the seven calls I received today. The one Montreal number was from Structube telling me they'd be delivering my new couch tomorrow. Nice.
And yes, I answered every single one of those calls because I'm from Ontario and always wonder if it's something important regarding my family or friends.
So I can confirm - only Structube was legit (though it was still a robot lady on the other end of the line).
I couldn't help but head to Twitter to see if other people were noticing this huge spike in calls lately.
A couple people mentioned it yesterday, noting the same exhausting frequency that I experienced.
Four scam calls for “service Canada” this afternoon alone. So. Damned. Annoying.— Neil Shyminsky (@Neil Shyminsky) 1573771542.0
I got an automated service canada scam call today saying my SIN is being used for criminal activity and I need to c… https://t.co/bBCjiXNGo2— Janelle Blakley (@Janelle Blakley) 1573779200.0
The jovial sarcasm of the tweet above is generally how I feel about these calls when I receive them. It's hilarious, annoying and largely not difficult to ignore.
But that's where I think it's important to recognize, these calls aren't really aimed at working on people like me.
These calls are clearly meant to manipulate and take advantage of people who don't understand governmental systems and how they work in Canada.
🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬 mother fu*king spammers. In the last 24 hrs I've received like 10 automated calls from the "legal team at se… https://t.co/592hEJpith— Joy Williams (@Joy Williams) 1573829618.0
Service Canada has called to threaten to arrest me four times today. Actually. The spam call problem is getting so bad.— wolfewylie (@wolfewylie) 1573834966.0
They also work to take advantage of people who are new to Canada and are still learning English and French, or other people who are probably very confused and frightened by the harsh robotic voice that comes on the line.
12 identity theft scammer calls since Monday pretending to be @ServiceCanada_E. Apparently my SIN is suspended but… https://t.co/TG3DkZe10E— Ben Brown 🏳️🌈 (@Ben Brown 🏳️🌈) 1573826619.0
FYI: I've been getting this REAL persistent stupid-ass robocaller spoofing (kind of--it's got a long-distance tag o… https://t.co/05Mr0Dp33Z— the perilous seat (-pockets)👖 (@the perilous seat (-pockets)👖) 1573836272.0
The calls attempt to convince you to connect with someone so that you can give your SIN number by pressing a number on your phone.
I, of course, did not follow through with this request when it was presented to me, instead opting to hang up.
@JohalSunil Yesterday was peak spam call day for me. I told my colleagues that if I didn't make it in to work today… https://t.co/ndmasqPHL3— Maggie MacDonald (@Maggie MacDonald) 1573828831.0
@MikeSchnier Android has this feature, too, but unfortunately these "Service Canada" spam calls have rendered my vo… https://t.co/Bw4h4BG2mw— 🍺 寝瓶 🍺 (@🍺 寝瓶 🍺) 1573838851.0
In addition to the attempt to gather personal information, these calls have the potential to rack up long-distance charges if the real location where the call is made is outside of Canada.
So it's wise to avoid calling back any unknown numbers and definitely don't press 2 (or any number they suggest) to speak with anyone.
We reached out to Service Canada for more information on the issue and are awaiting their reply. We will include any statement they make on the matter here.