Lake Cowichan RCMP phone line used to make spoof calls

Return calls are flooding phone lines and tying up resources

The Lake Cowichan RCMP detachment’s phone number is being spoofed to make calls to the public. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

The Lake Cowichan RCMP detachment’s phone number is being spoofed to make calls to the public. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

The Lake Cowichan RCMP is concerned that its non-emergency phone number is being spoofed to make unsolicited calls to the public.

Since the afternoon of Tuesday, Aug. 18, the detachment has received a number of reports that people have been called from the line. Caller ID displays as Lake Cowichan RCMP, however, when the individual answers the phone, the caller hangs up. In cases where the call is missed, no message is left.

Typically used by scammers, spoofing disguises the telephone number appearing on the caller ID display and allows scammers to disguise their calls and trick people into answering their phones and trusting the caller.

“We want to reassure the public that if someone from the Lake Cowichan RCMP and is trying to reach you, we would not hang up when you answer, and would leave a message asking you to return our call,” said Lake Cowichan RCMP detachment commander Sgt. Lita Watson.

“These calls are now directly impacting public ability to reach the Lake Cowichan detachment and we are hopeful this is not a purposeful, or malicious tactic being used to flood our phone lines and tie up our resources. The Lake Cowichan RCMP has launched a public mischief investigation and we are actively investigating.”

Anyone who receives a call from 250-749-6668 where no message is left should not return the call. If an officer needs to contact someone, they will leave a message or make another attempt to call.

Anyone who needs to file a police report with the Lake Cowichan RCMP and can not reach the detachment by phone should visit the detachment at 70 Stanley Road and make a report in person.

RCMP