Fraud Alert: RCMP warn of Canada Revenue Agency scam

A familiar ploy to separate people from their hard earned money is making the rounds

Mounties are reminding the public of the Canada Revenue Agency scam that has popped up again.

The Kelowna RCMP has seen an increase in telephone scams where the caller claims to be from the Canada Revenue Agency. These 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,” said Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey, in a press release.

“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 a prepaid credit card and demand that they call the suspect back immediately with the information. The taxpayer is often threatened with court charges, jail or even deportation.”

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 or iTunes gift cards, 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 or driver’s licence;

The CRA will never leave personal information on your voice mail 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;

You DO NOT 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.

For more information on fraud prevention, please visit the BC RCMP Website or Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.