Shoppers Drug Mart is warning consumers about a phone scam that's been sweeping Thunder Bay.
An automated phone call — claiming to be from the nation-wide pharmacy — tells recipients they have won a vacation.
"We've heard from several customers right across Canada that they have received an automated phone call that indicates they have won a vacation from Shoppers Drug Mart," said Shoppers spokesperson Tammy Smitham.
Protect yourself from phone fraud
You have the right to check out any caller by requesting written information, a call back number, references and time to think over the offer. Legitimate business people will be happy to provide you with that information.
Always be careful about providing confidential personal information, especially banking or credit card details, unless you are certain the company is legitimate. And, if you have doubts about a caller, your best defence is to simply hang up.
If you're in doubt, it's wise to ask the advice of a close friend or relative, or even your banker. Rely on people you can trust.
It's not always easy to spot phone scams, and new ones are invented every day. If you suspect that you may be a target of fraud, or if you have already sent funds, don't be embarrassed, you're not alone.
"They ask you to agree or disagree, and if you agree you select a number. You are then transferred to a live caller who asks you for your credit card number to hold a hotel room. This is not a contest authorized by Shoppers Drug Mart nor is this activity authorized. Clearly it is fraudulent activity."
The company reports Thunder Bay is just one location among many where these calls are being received.
"We have heard from [customers in] Saskatchewn, Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario," Smitham said.
"All indications are that this is completely random. The fact that they may be a Shoppers customer is a coincidence. We've been protecting their private information … and that they should be very vigilant about protecting their own information as well."
An investigation is currently underway.
"Unfortunately, we don't know who is responsible at this point in time. We do have an investigation and in some cases local authorities are involved. The calls are originating from a number of different phone area codes. "
Anyone receiving the fraudulent call, should just hang up, she said.
"We are concerned for our customers’ private information. What we are warning our customers is not to provide any credit card information over the phone," Smitham said. "Shoppers Drug Mart would never ask for that type of information, even if they were to win a contest … [as our] contests are free."