Calgary, AB,

Firearms Licence Fraud

The Calgary Police Service Economic Crimes Unit is warning firearms purchasers about a recent fraud to obtain Possession and Acquisition Licences.

On Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015, police were alerted to two cases in which two separate private gun buyers responded to online for sale ads to purchase guns. During the transaction, the sellers spoke to the buyers over the phone, offering to sell them guns that were to be paid for by e-transfers. As per regulations, the buyers gave the sellers their PAL numbers.

When the e-transfers took place, the banks notified the buyers the accounts were fraudulent and the e-transfers were stopped before money could be lost.

Police believe the fraudsters posing as gun sellers may be using the information gathered from potential buyers, specifically their PAL numbers, to illegally purchase guns.

Anyone who believes their PAL number has been compromised is asked to call the National Weapons Enforcement Support Team (NWEST) at 403-428-8042 or 403-428-8043.

If you are selling a firearm, check with the Canadian Firearms Center to determine if a PAL is flagged by calling 1-800-731-4000.

If you are buying a firearm, ensure you have verified the seller before you provide any personal information, including your PAL number. Here are a few guidelines to follow:

  • Ensure you are using a reputable website.
  • Watch for multiple ads featuring the same photo and/or phone number. They may use different names on the ads, but the phone numbers are usually the same.
  • Don’t be rushed by a seller. If they are pressuring you for a quick sale, there is often a reason.
  • If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. If the gun is selling for way less than market value, the likelihood of a fraud increases.