Redcliff RCMP phone line spoofed through online app

By Hayley Ferguson
April 23, 2019 - 4:24pm Updated: April 23, 2019 - 7:07pm

 

Redcliff, AB-- Redcliff RCMP have become a victim of a spoofing attack.

Late on Monday night, many residents of Redcliff and Medicine Hat received calls from the Redcliff RCMP’s complainant line as well as the Medicine Hat Lodge and Inland Concrete.

The calls rang through the night starting starting at 11 o’clock until about 2:25 AM.

“I was in bed, my son ran upstairs cause he knew we were all sleeping. Then woke me with the strangest look as to why a construction company was calling so late.” Said Dawn-Angel Forrester.

In the morning Forrester saw on Facebook she was just one of many who’s phone rang.

“Later I noticed it was not just me that received this call and made it more eerie like, Twilight Zone eerie.”

According to the RCMP in Redcliff after the calls started going out, hundreds of people called the station to report what was happening.

“People began receiving phone calls at 11 o’clock from the RCMP telephone number in Redcliff. And basically they were just hearing back noise, people talking. No messages, nothing was really said. People could just hear some noise in the back.” Said Corporal Allen Rivard.

Corporal Rivard believes that the point of the calls were nothing more than to try and be an annoyance to the public based off the time of the calls and that there were no messages left requesting anything.

The RCMP have also been able to confirm the origins of the calls were split between Calgary and Edmonton.

“Apparently the calls originated from a spoofing app. We were able to work with our partners in Telus and Bell and we were able to confirm the numbers were originated from an online application that just decided to pick up our telephone number and as a result of that there were just robocalls being made from the Redcliff RCMP telephone number.”

A spoofing app can change the caller ID to any number other than the calling number.

The individual or group using app selected the “548” prefix and started rolling through numbers before connecting to one of the RCMP’s numbers and other businesses in town.

“We just want to remind the public that if the Redcliff RCMP or any other police service needs to get a hold of you urgently that we will either attend your residence or if we do call, we will leave a detailed voicemail in order to call an officer back.” Said Corporal Rivard. “If you do receive one of these spoofing calls, we are asking for people to ignore them at this time as there’s nothing really further we can do.”

Corporal Rivard continued saying “We hope it’s not an ongoing thing. But of course because it’s an online app we just can’t determine if it’s going to happen in the future or not.”

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