(Advocate file photo).

Kimberley resident warns about phone scam involving pharmacy, prescriptions

Scammers are calling to ask for credit card information, claiming there is a prescription ready

A Kimberley resident (who has asked not to be named for privacy reasons) is warning the public about a potential phone scam in which the caller pretends to be a pharmacist.

The Kimberley resident received a call on Tuesday, November 19 around 6:40p.m., where a “European sounding” man claimed to be calling from Shoppers Drug Mart.

“My caller ID said private caller, if it was from Shoppers it would have said that,” the resident explained. “The man on the phone said he was a pharmacist and there was a prescription waiting for me at the pharmacy. I knew that wasn’t true, but it was strange because he said it was cortisone cream, which I have recently needed.”

READ MORE: Scammers are spoofing federal agency phone numbers, Canadian anti-fraud centre says

The resident adds that they didn’t give away any personal information, such as banking information, but that the caller knew their address.

“I didn’t give them my doctor’s name or financial information, but [the caller] stalled a lot, trying to see if I would willingly give up more information,” said the resident. “I don’t know how they got a hold of us, but I just wanted to share this in case it happens to someone else. I was worried all night.”

The resident called the police shortly after the phone call, as well as Shoppers Drug Mart.

Sgt. Chris Newel of the Kimberley RCMP says that if you suspect there is a scammer on the line, hang up the phone.

“Don’t engage with that person, because often times they can get aggressive, almost threatening, which is part of their tactics to get information from people,” said Newel. “It’s best to just hang up the phone, so you’re not subject to that.”

He adds that phone scammers can be located all over the world, and use technology to either hide their numbers or make it seem as though they are calling from a legitimate source.

“If your caller ID says it’s a business, look up that business with whatever means you can and call them directly,” said Newel.

READ MORE: Concerned citizen warns of ‘Reader’s Digest contest’ phone scam

Justin Tang, Pharmacist at Kimberley Shoppers Drug Mart, says the same, to hang up and call Shoppers directly if you suspect it’s a scam.

“We’ve heard from a couple of other people who’ve had a similar experience,” said Tang. “Unfortunately there’s not much we can do about it from our end, but know that you can always call the pharmacy to double check.”

He adds that the pharmacy does call people to let them know their prescription is ready, however they would never ask for credit card information, and they only deliver to select few people.

“I think in most cases the caller is trying to get a hold of credit card information, which we wouldn’t do. We also only deliver to people that we know, there has to be context to the delivery,” Tang explained. “Lastly, this patient said the scammer was calling from a private number. That wouldn’t be the case. It’s pretty transparent when we’re calling.”



corey.bullock@kimberleybulletin.com

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