Man on the phone.

Torontonians losing millions over sophisticated phone scams

Police alerting the public about frauds targeting people with landlines

Torontonians are being scammed out of their money from fraud schemes over the telephone. Police say more than $5 million has been lost from at least five victims in Toronto.

The elaborate phone scheme has been circulating all around Canada. People with landlines are the ones being targeted.

The Toronto Police released a public safety alert on Feb. 9 to warn people of the nature for the fraud.

People are being contacted by the offenders posing as retailers. They claim to be notifying the victims of a fraudulent purchase made by their credit card and insist they call 9-1-1 or their financial institution, police say.

Victims hang up and proceed to make the call not knowing the offenders have not disconnected the call. The original caller will pose as a 9-1-1 call-taker or a bank representative and advise them on how to transfer their money to a specific account.

The money is directly transferred to their possession. People believe they are putting their funds into an account whiles an investigation takes place.

Police say the phone callers will pretend to be representatives who will transfer you to a police investigator, or a bank investigator.

Sometimes the victims will be asked to make a call to the number on the back of their credit card, again without knowledge that the imposters are still on the line.

This entire process is a fabrication made by the offenders who are taking steps to being as believably legitimate as possible.

The Toronto Police offer some advice on reassuring your financial safety, such as not believing caller identifications are accurate. You should also go to your financial institution in person if you have any inquiries our doubts about the safety of your money.