Weird wrap: no, the CIA doesn’t take credit cards

People using laptops in front of a screen with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) emblem. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

There’s almost no limit to how far scammers will go to get their hands on your personal info, and some of those scams sound so ridiculous as to defy belief.

Fake law-enforcement agencies are calling Winnipeggers to inform them they’re facing criminal charges. Fortunately, they’ll cancel those charges if you just give them your credit card number. Hey, convenient!

Actually, the law enforcement agencies aren’t fake, but the calls certainly are. Scammers are saying they represent local police, the RCMP, and even the CIA.

For the record, no police service — in Canada, anyway — cancels criminal charges for a cost. And if the CIA is after you, they probably won’t call and tell you in advance.

Calls are originating from a 613 area code but really, no matter where they come from, you can safely assume it’s a scam.

Serial burglars seeking bronzer

It seems some sensitive-skinned Calgary crooks are planning a long vacation in the sun.

Police are hunting the men responsible for a string of late-night break-ins at tanning salons in Calgary and Strathmore.

The duo smashes its way in with an axe or a rock, and then takes off with loads of tanning products and lotion. So far, they’ve stolen more than $28,000 in product after nearly two-dozen break-ins.

Police are seeking tips as well, but have little description to go on besides two males wearing balaclavas driving a dark SUV or hatchback. Since security footage is black and white, there’s no description of how tanned — or pasty — they may be.  

Purloined pyrotechnics

Also in the vein of strange thefts, Toronto police issued a public safety alert after someone stole a truck packed with theatrical explosives and pyrotechnics.

While you wonder at the motivation of tanning-oil thieves, this one raises questions too. Did they know what was in the truck, or is there a booming black market for stolen pyrotechnics? Maybe they’re getting ready for Canada Day.

Police say qualified professionals should only handle the contents. They’re asking the public to keep a lookout for a white 2005 GMC cube van with an Ontario plate AK5 4132.

Also, very importantly, they advise you not to approach the van. Just call 911 instead.

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