PAL information stolen in online gun sales scams

Several fraudulent transactions caught by banks, but buyers still had their PAL information stolen

Police in Calgary have issued a warning of a scam targeting potential buyers in fake online gun sales ads.

Police first became aware of the scam last week after two separate cases were brought to their attention. In both cases, the scammers spoke to their victims over the phone to gather PAL information. They also arranged for payment by e-transfer with no intent to send any firearms. While the banks noticed the sellers’ accounts were fraudulent and halted the transactions before any money was transferred, the scammers still obtained their victims’ PAL numbers which police believe they plan to use to purchase firearms from other online sellers.

If you believe your PAL might be compromised, police ask that you call the National Weapons Enforcement Support Team at 403-428-8042 or 403-428-8043.

Police also advise anyone selling a firearm to call the Canadian Firearms Centre at 1-800-731-4000 to determine if that license is legitimate or flagged. They also advise potential buyers to verify the seller before providing any personal information.


Here are some tips to stay safe:

  • Use only reputable websites
  • Keep an eye out for multiple ads featuring the same firearm or featuring pictures of the same firearm; police say the names on the ads may be different but the phone numbers are usually the same
  • Watch for ads selling firearms well below market price
  • Do not let yourself be rushed by a seller