Statistics Canada officials don’t ask for banking information or social insurance numbers (SIN) when they conduct a survey via telephone or in person.
“While Statistics Canada has many ongoing surveys, it does not collect this kind of personal financial information,” the federal agency said in a news release Jan. 7. “In some cases, bogus callers simply reference a Statistics Canada survey while in others they refer to the Census of Canada.”
So how do you tell if an official really is from StatsCan? Legitimate officials have photo identification while conducting in-person surveys and telephone surveyors have interview numbers the public can request and then verify by calling Statistic Canada toll free at 800-263-1136.
Sometimes Statistics Canada officials call on a weekend or in the evening because that’s when it’s easier to reach people. A recent Sunday call raised the suspicion of one retired rural couple. A followup call with StatsCan revealed it was part of a legitimate survey.
Statistics Canada is advising anyone who gave their SIN, credit card number or bank account information under suspicious circumstances over the phone to contact their local police service.