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Police warn community about delayed disconnect phone scam


Lethbridge Police are warning the public to be aware of a delayed disconnect phone scam after a 79-year-old woman was defrauded of a significant amount of money.

The delayed disconnect phone scam takes advantage of the fact that, in Canada, there can be a delay between when we hang up and when the call actually disengages.

On January 9, 2023, the victim encountered some ransomware that had locked her computer. She called a number believed to be Microsoft Support, but was actually a fraudster. The fraudster directed her to call the number on the back of her bank card. After hanging up her landline to call, the line was not disconnected and someone pretending to be a bank representative told her that her account had been compromised. They then convinced her to withdraw money and put it into a Bitcoin machine. The victim was defrauded of approximately $20,000.

Police are asking the public to be aware of this scam and take steps to share information with their loved ones in the hopes of preventing further victimization.

How to protect yourself:

  • Don't give out information, such as the name of your banking institution on incoming calls
  • Hang up and wait at least 1 minute before making a new call. This will ensure that the first call clears from your line.
  • If possible, make the next phone call on a different line, such as your cell phone

Anyone who has fallen victim to this phone scam and not yet reported it, is asked to call police at 403-328-4444. 


Lethbridge Police Service
135 1 Avenue South
Lethbridge, Alberta T1J 0A1

Non-Emergency Phone: 403-328-4444
General Inquiries Phone: 403-327-2210
Email: General Inquiries
(not monitored 24/7)

Hours for public access:
Monday to Friday - 7:30 am to 4:00 pm
Closed weekends and statutory holidays



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