Scammer issues census threats to Cowichan Valley woman

If someone phones and threatens retribution because you have not filled out your census form, you could be the potential victim of a scam

Many scammers use the telephone as their vehicle of choice.

Many scammers use the telephone as their vehicle of choice.

If someone phones and threatens retribution because you have not filled out your census form, you could be the potential victim of a scam, according to a concerned local woman.

Clara Rempel got a worrying phone call on Saturday, June 11 around lunch time.

“It was a very aggressive male who was talking to me. He said: ‘You haven’t filled out your census. We’re going to send a couple of people to help you fill out your census. It’s illegal not to fill it out. We’re going to be right over,’” she said.

She explained to the caller that she had filled out her census form.

Then he tried to claim he knew her address and that he and his cohorts were coming her way.

“The address was wrong but I didn’t correct him on that. It was a leading statement, trying to get me to give my address out, which I didn’t. I didn’t even give my name or anything.”

Nothing else came of the potential threat but Rempel said she was concerned for other people who might face a similar situation.

“I wanted the public to be aware of it. Not everybody knows that you have to fill in the census, that you could be fined $500 or more or even imprisoned. Some people out there are playing on that information to intimidate people in general. They’re just trying to get your personal information. I’m becoming quite wary but what about the ones that are very, very vulnerable, that are into being polite and all that stuff? They could be older people, or special needs people or people who can’t defend themselves. They might think they have to let these people come and fill out the census and then they find them in their personal space, at the door at least.”

Rempel said she called local police but they directed her elsewhere.

“They said: ‘Call the anti-fraud centre. That was busy but I could go online. But I’m so technologically challenged I just thought people should know about it. It’s just too easy an avenue for people to be abused.”

Cowichan Valley Citizen

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