RCMP say calls about the Canada Revenue Agency scam are on the rise in Vernon
Mounties say they’ve seen a notable increase in complaints where a caller claims to be from the CRA, saying the victim has to pay a debt, sometimes using aggressive language.
Police say the calls are fraudulent, and could result in identity and financial theft.
“Some recent telephone scams involve the suspect threatening taxpayers or using aggressive and forceful language to scare them into paying fictitious debt to the CRA,” says Cst. Kelly Brett. “Victims often receive a phone call from a person claiming to work for the CRA who says that taxes are owed. The suspect usually requests immediate payment by credit card or will convince the victim to purchase bit coins and demand that they call the suspect back immediately with the information. The taxpayer is often threatened with court charges, jail or even deportation.”
Brett points out you don’t need to call your local RCMP detachment if you have only received a scam phone call.
“Hanging up the phone is the best course of action you can take. Call your local police only if you have been victimized by the scam.”
RCMP offer the following tips about the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) scam:
The CRA advises Canadians to confirm the status of their tax accounts before taking any action that may be the result of pressure from suspicious calls or emails, and to verify the legitimacy of the communication by contacting the CRA directly at 1-800-959-8281;
The CRA will never request prepaid credit cards, iTunes gift cards or bit coin payments, and it will not send emails containing details of a tax refund or Interac e-transfer payments;
The CRA will never ask for information about your passport, health services card, driver’s licence or social security number;
The CRA will never leave personal information on your voicemail service;
If you’ve shared personal information, contact Equifax and Trans Union to place fraud alerts on your account;
If you’ve shared banking information with a scammer, contact your financial institution to place alerts on your accounts.