Ottawa

New scam keeps fraudsters connected after victim hangs up

People are being warned to watch out for a new kind of phone scam that keeps fraudsters connected to their victims even after they've hung up the phone.

Scammers using line-trapping technology to trick victims, police warn

In a recent incident, a fraudster impersonating a police officer convinced a woman she'd been the victim of identity theft, and told her to call her local police detachment. (Kichiro Sato/Associated Press)

People are being warned to watch out for a new kind of phone scam that keeps fraudsters connected to their victims even after they've hung up the phone.

Fraudster are now using "line-trapping" technology to connect to a victim's phone, police say.

In one recent case, someone impersonating a police officer called a woman and told her she'd been the victim of identity theft. 

The woman was instructed to call her local police branch to confirm the details. But when she hung up to make the call, the scammers were able to stay connected to her line. 

So when she thought she was calling police, she was really just speaking to the scammers who had called her in the first place.

"The victim in this incident had both money and personal information stolen as a result of this scam," Kingston police wrote in a news release. 

"This recent report of line-trapping technology appears to be a new scam being orchestrated by the scammers and Kingston police are reminding citizens to be cautious when dealing with calls or emails requesting personal information."

Evidence suggests the technology has a time limit of several minutes, Kingston police said.

"No one should ever feel like they are being forced to provide their personal information or any form of payment over the phone or by email," they said.