Lake Cowichan Mounties are dealing with a fairly peculiar crime: The detachment’s own phone line being used by spoofing – a type of security attack that involves scammers disguising their identity to trick people to answering a call.
Since the afternoon of Tuesday, Aug. 18, the detachment has received a number of reports that people have been called from the line. Caller ID will display as Lake Cowichan RCMP, however, when the individual answers the phone, the caller hangs up. In cases where the call is missed, no message is left.
“We want to reassure the public that if someone from the Lake Cowichan RCMP and is trying to reach you, we would not hang up when you answer, and would leave a message asking you to return our call,” said Lake Cowichan RCMP detachment commander Sgt. Lita Watson.
“These calls are now directly impacting public ability to reach the Lake Cowichan detachment and we are hopeful this is not a purposeful, or malicious tactic being used to flood our phone lines and tie up our resources. The Lake Cowichan RCMP has launched a public mischief investigation and we are actively investigating.”
Anyone who receives a call from 250-749-6668 where no message is left should not return the call. If an officer needs to contact someone, they will leave a message or make another attempt to call.
Anyone who needs to file a police report with the Lake Cowichan RCMP and can not reach the detachment by phone should visit the detachment at 70 Stanley Road and make a report in person.