Montreal

Montrealers receiving spam calls advised not to call back, pick up

According to Sgt. Guy-Paul Larocque, spokesperson for the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, the calls likely fall under the “one ring scam” category. 

Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre spokesperson says calls likely fall under 'one ring scam' category

Montrealer Terri Insogna says in the past month, she's been receiving more and more calls from unknown numbers, with area codes ranging from Ottawa to Congo.  (Simon Nakonechny/CBC)

Some Montrealers say they've received several calls from unknown numbers this weekend, at all hours of the day and night. 

People are reporting receiving calls from a number, but when they answer, nobody is on the other end. Others say the caller will hang up after just one ring. 

Dollard-des-Ormeaux resident Terri Insogna says in the past month, she's been receiving more and more calls from unknown numbers, with area codes ranging from Ottawa to Congo. 

Sometimes, they would call and hang up after one or two rings, she said. 

"It's very annoying: your phone rings and you know there's really nothing you can do about it, because my carrier told me to block the call, but that does nothing because every call generator is another number," Insogna said. 

According to Sgt. Guy-Paul Larocque, spokesperson for the RCMP's Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, the calls likely fall under the "one ring scam" category, in which scammers call someone's phone and hang up quickly. The phone shows it as a missed call from a number the person doesn't recognize. 

Often, they will return the call, which could result in the person having to pay a premium rate for the call — without warning. 

Report fraudulent calls: RCMP

Insogna isn't the only one receiving calls like these — Rogers and Vidéotron have reported receiving many calls from clients in the Montreal area hoping to find a way to end the barrage. 

Rogers and Vidéotron have advised their customers not to call back unknown international numbers that call them, and Rogers said it's working to implement universal call blocking under new Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission regulations. 

Insogna also says she received recent calls from people claiming to be from the Justice Department and she would be arrested if she didn't call back. 

"People get many calls where the telephone number displayed shows like a legitimate entity but then when they answer the phone, they realize that it's not that entity calling them," said Larocque.

He said a majority of the more recent calls are coming from fraudulent call centres outside the country. People should report these types of calls to the centre, he says, so officers can find ways to mitigate the issue. 

With files from Rebecca Ugolini and Simon Nakonechny

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