Canadians see dramatic spike in scam calls in last two years: poll

The level of scam calls in Canada is higher than ever before, according to pollsters.

Mario Conseco, President of Research Co. says 60 per cent of cellphone users receive scam calls pretending to be part of a government agency.

“This is definitely a larger number than what we saw back in 2019. It certainly suggests that they’re getting more sophisticated and they’re trying to get their message out, hoping that somebody is going to fall in the trap.”

Conseco also says Metro Vancouver is the main target off the calls, and although the calls are not necessarily targeting a specific ethnicity, most calls are in Mandarin.

“In 2019, only 31% of cell phone users said that they received calls in Cantonese or Mandarin now it’s up to 51%.”

“Is it that we’re getting these calls by mistake, they’re trying to get to somebody who they believe can answer the phone in Cantonese or Mandarin, the answer is no, they’re hoping that somebody will understand what they’re saying and get them on the phone.”

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Conseco says although it is hard to put a stop to the scam calls, he believes the federal government is doing as much as they can to stop the problem.

“They have websites and ads that explain to not take this phone call. The CRA would never call you and ask you to provide information and they certainly will not say that there’s a warrant for your arrest or ask for payment in bitcoins or gift cards. There’s definitely an information campaign from the father of the federal government.”

However, in terms of reporting the calls and taking legal action against the scammers, there is not much that can be done.

“The only thing that can happen is to contact the Canadian anti-fraud center … but these crimes are being committed from abroad, so it’s even more difficult for the federal government to get involved.”


– With files from Robyn Crawford

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