The Canandaigua Police Department is alerting the public about a phone scam that was reported to state police by a town of Canandaigua resident.
The victim reported receiving a call from a person claiming to be from the Office of Social Security and they were notified that their Social Security number had been compromised and subsequently connected to criminal activity.
Within a few minutes, the victim received another call from (585) 394-3311, which is the Canandaigua Police Department’s actual number, and spoke with a male with an accent.
The male claimed to be the Canandaigua Police Chief and demanded payment and threatened the victim with arrest if they did not comply. The male demanded a substantial payment by both gift cards and bitcoin.
“The Canandaigua Police Department will never solicit payments in lieu of arrests,” the department said in a press release. “We would also like to remind residents to never give out personal information out over the phone unless the source has been independently verified. DO NOT trust information being provided by the caller.”
They added that phone numbers that appear in caller ID can easily be manipulated. “We would suggest that if someone should receive suspicious calls such as this to immediately hang up and call 911,” the department added. “The callers will usually employ high pressure tactics to keep the victim on the phone, but don’t be duped into this tactic.”
“Just hang up,” leaders from the department added. “The 911 dispatcher can easily verify if you are legitimately being called by a police agency and legitimate officers will understand your suspicion on this type of call.”
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