Vacation scam calls increase

Ever answered your cell phone to hear a blaring boat horn on the other end? Or a peppy prerecorded voice proclaiming that you’ve won a free trip? If you have, you’re not alone. In fact, these types of fraudulent vacation calls seem to be on the increase, so much so that a Canadian wireless carrier has recently issued a warning to consumers.

While the scam has been around for some time, it appears to be continually resurfacing and often uses the name of a legitimate company. Usually the person who answers the phone hears a prerecorded statement suggesting they have won a free trip and if they stay on the line are connected with a person who attempts to solicit sensitive personal information. Sometimes the caller will trick the person into sending money.

Though usually the numbers appear to be North American, Telus has confirmed the caller ID has been spoofed and that the calls are originating from another continent. If you receive one of these calls realize they are a rip-off and hang up the phone immediately.

“It appears the scammers are using auto-dialers to call thousands of phone numbers – not just Telus customers,” states a company press release.