Last year, I around the beginning of October 2021, I started receiving calls from Stat Canada, saying they had a mandatory census to complete over the phone. I first received a call from this phone number 18664488030 stating it was statistics Canada at 8 PM PST. I found this extremely odd as I know that government agencies don’t call outside of business hours. I told them this, and the next time they called within business hours, stating there was now a note on my file saying I didn’t want to be contacted on non-business hours.
I then proceeded to toy with them for a few minutes as I had a feeling this still wasn’t right. I asked her why I was receiving a phone call after I’d just filled out a census a month or so earlier. She proceeded to try and push me to give personal information over the phone, stating this was mandatory and I would be in trouble if I didn’t comply. To this response, I told them I’m not giving anything until they verify that they were Statistics Canada, as I’d never heard of them calling before! This lady told me they had been doing this for a few months now and to check out the website and that their number was listed on the website to call and verify this. (I did check, see below for my discovery)
I asked if the census could be sent by mail, she said it could not, it could only be done over the phone. She said that it was to ensure benefits I receive will continue to be received however, she had no idea who I was, nor did she give me a number of the survey she was supposedly performing.
I called the number back on Pop-tox – it went straight to my phone provider.
I then went to their website, and called the phone number listed, surprise, it can’t be reached outside of business hours.
Since the beginning of the year, they have started using 18339778287, which if you Google this number, it has been flagged MANY times as a spam number.
When I called this one via Pop-Tox, I was surprised to see they’ve now upped their game by including a menu that says welcome to Statistics Canada, in both English and French, in a woman’s voice, calling from phone number. By the way, this phone number is NOT listed as a statistics Canada phone number, see below or click here for their listings:
When you call their Toll-free number, you’ll note, it’s a man’s voice that answers, in both English and French.
So now what? If I can’t trust phone calls I receive from my own government, who can I trust?!
My suggestions in the world we live in are –
- Question EVERYTHING. There are so many scams out there, making suspicion and caution are your greatest weapons.
- Google EVERYTHING – and don’t just read the first result that pops up!
- If something sounds odd or too good to be true, trust your instincts and do some research. The government isn’t gonna toss you into jail for not completing a survey, but you’ll definitely receive letters if you are required to fill out something!
- Don’t give personal information over the phone unless you are sure you know who you are speaking with!
- Ask them for the number of the survey they are conducting. Then tell them you will call back at a later time and complete this survey. Hangup, and call the number listed on the Stat Canada Website the next day.
- Ask them what your name is.
- Never call these numbers back on your phone, instead use an Internet phone like Pop-Tox and better yet with a VPN.
- And above all – STAY CAUTIOUS!
Stay safe out there friends!!! – SarahTonin