MONTREAL -- Fraudsters are imitating police to steal Quebecers' personal information, provincial police warned on Friday.

The agency warned Quebecers to be wary of suspicious calls.

In the scheme, a citizen received a call from someone purporting to be a police officer, speaking English. It is targeting Quebecers all over the province, but particularly in the Monteregie region.

The so-called officer asked the citizen for their name, social insurance number and other personal information, the SQ wrote in a press release on Friday.

If the citizen refused to give their information, the fraudster would threaten arrest. In some cases, the SQ added, the fraudster would ask for the citizen's bank information, warn them of other potential frauds.

The fraudsters also mimic phone numbers, the SQ warned. Sometimes, they would ask their prospective victims for the phone number of the local police station, then tell them a police officer would soon call them from that location. They would later call the citizen again, with the number provided by the citizen appearing on a call-display.

"These calls are fraudulent," the SQ wrote. "Police officers do not communicate with citizens to extract personal or financial information."

If you receive a call from someone you do not know, the SQ says you should take the following steps:

  • Ask them their name and what organization they represent. Check the company online, and see if the phone numbers match.
  • Don't assume that the number on your call display is real. Fraudsters can mimic numbers.
  • Never give your social insurance number, banking information or personal information to someone over the telephone unless you are sure that you are communicating with a legitimate source.
  • Never send money to someone you do not know.
  • Be wary of attempts to make you pay fees by email, by telephone or by text message.