I have received a long distance call from 1-800-378-0894 on Friday evening. The man told that he is calling from York Regional Police. That pretty much alerted me. He had a deep voice and was not really polite. “Police officer” continued that I had some problems or contacts with police and that my voice sounded impaired. These words alerted me even more, as I have not ever had problems with police and I was not impaired. It looks like psychological trick to scare potential victim, and then relieve by letting know that police is not going to put me in jail now. It appeared suspicious to me also because it was a long distance call starting with 1-800, but YRP (York Regional Police) phone number should start with 905 or 416.
Then the man started approximately 2 minutes story about former police officers, about children, about communication and so on. Actually his words were extremely unintelligible, I could understand only separate words or phrases like kids, children, sick, lack of communication, retired. He also mentioned about “Family Fun Days” at Canada’s Wonderland for children. After this introduction he started to describe the real reason of call in very clear statements. They are looking for donations. That is York Regional Police is asking for extra money from taxpayers who already paid a lot to them. Does it sound strange? He described possible levels of donation: gold – $100, and silver – $50. And asked me – “What do you prefer to start with?”. I got 100% assurance that it is typical phone fraud.
So, I have asked the man which number can I use to call back in couple of minutes to make a donation. Guess what?! He did not know his own phone number! He asked me to hold on. In a minute he arrived and was trying to give me the phone number. It was really hard for him, because he did not clearly remember the number which his boss just gave him. Finally the number was 416-646-3141 ext 116. I said thanks and hung up.
Investigations showed that the phone number which fraud man gave to me belongs to Xentel Corporation, not York Regional Police Assiciation. Their website states that Xentel is “North America’s leader in profile enhancement for community-based organizations”. Actually, this company is just telemarketing scammer which grabs money by phone through “donations” claiming to be a real organization.
If you receive call from 1-800-378-0894 or 1-416-646-3141 phone numbers, or someone on the phone pretends to be from:
- York Regional Police Assiciation (YRPA) or even York Regional Police (YRP)
- Firefighters Association of Ontario (FFAO) or Mississauga Firefighters
- Teachers Association of Ontario (any schools)
then it is most likely fraud attempt. Scammers just want money from you on some “charity event” and have absolutely no relations with the above organizations like YRPA, for example. So money go directly into their pockets for personal needs.
If you are in doubt if it is real organization or scam, ask the caller which number you may call back later, and what is their address, so you will be able to send them a cheque. Search for this information in the Internet, or write to us – we can quickly made an investigation and give back a response if it is a fraud. Then you can safely make a donation if you want by calling the phone number they gave to you or sending a cheque.
Let us know about other phone fraud attemts or suspicious calls in your area through comments. Thank you for your cooperation!