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A Saint John Police Force cruiser is pictured in this file photo. Image: Aaron Sousa

Police warn community of cell phone upgrade scams

By Regis Phillips Feb 17, 2024 | 2:53 PM

The Saint John Police Force is warning the public about a cell phone upgrade scam in our area.

Officers say victims are offered early phone upgrades at significant discounts. Victims provide the fraudsters with their account information.

The scammer places a legitimate cell phone order through the victim’s provider but orders the wrong handset.

The victim receives the wrong handset and calls the fraudster’s number back to request an exchange for the proper handset, and the victim returns the incorrect handset to an address provided by the fraudster.

The fraudster receives the brand-new handset billed to the victim, and the victim doesn’t receive the correct handset and is charged the full cost of the wrong handset that is now in possession of the scammer.

Saint John Police warns the community to not provide personal information to inbound callers regardless of how good the deal, promotion or discount may sound,

They also suggest visiting the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre for more information on how to protect yourself, and victims should contact their cell phone provider directly to verify the legitimacy of special promotions.