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RCMP are again warning Manitobans to be on guard after a Manitoba couple was targetted in a sophisticated phone scam this week. 

Sandi Allen of Shoal Lake, Manitoba says that on Wednesday morning she came into her house from working in the yard to see a missed number on both her cell phone and home phone. "It was the same number, a local 759 number, and I was waiting on a call and so I thought 'OK, that makes sense.'"

Allen called the number on her call display and the local RCMP detachment picked up. However, when Allen talked to the person in the RCMP detachment she was told that nobody there had tried calling her. The local RCMP said they would check with their members and get back to her.

Meanwhile, worry set in for Allen. "Did something happen to one of my kids? Or is Brent (her husband) OK?" Allen called her husband and he suggested that she call their kids as well, just in case something had happened to them.

While she was trying to contact the kids the number called her back, but it was a dead line. Then Brent called her and said that he had received a call from the RCMP's local phone number. Brent told her the connection was poor and he had trouble understanding the person who had a thick accent, and then the line went dead again.

The final call came shortly after that as Sandi was in a car with friends going for lunch. The number this time showed up as her husband's shop in Shoal Lake. But when she picked up it wasn't her husband.

"It's this man who says, 'Sandi Allen?' and I went 'Yes.' And he says 'We've arrested your husband and we have him in judicial custody.'"

Sandi says she put her phone on speakerphone so the others in the vehicle with her could hear, and she asked him to repeat what he had said slowly. One of her friends recorded part of the call in which the scammer can be heard saying, "Yes we are calling you from RCMP -- Royal Canadian Mounted Police. We have arrested your husband." 

Allen didn't fall for the scam and she says that she was pretty sure the entire time it was a scam. "I was most shocked with how they got my cell number and made it look like the RCMP and Brent were calling me."

She thinks that it actually began the day before when somebody claiming to be from FedEx called saying that they were delivering a parcel and needed to confirm their phone numbers. "None of that seemed out of the ordinary," she said. Her husband often has parcels arriving for their business, Steel Art Silhouettes. Allen says that the RCMP weren't sure how the scammers were able to make it look like other numbers were calling, but they are looking into the matter.

The Manitoba RCMP say that they will never ask for funds over the phone on behalf of those in custody. 

They also encourage anyone who receives these types of calls or believes they may have been the victim of fraud to contact their local police detachment or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

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