A Canada Revenue Agency scam sweeping the province has the RCMP issuing another warning to potential victims.
“This scam is becoming a growing concern for the RCMP in B.C. as we are receiving numerous complaints daily and the numbers keep growing,” said Cpl. Dave Tyreman, district advisory NCO for the North District. “Knowing exactly what to do should it happen to you is very important to prevent identity and financial theft.”
Tyreman said recent telephone scams involve threatening taxpayers or using aggressive and forceful language to scare them into paying fictitious debt. Victims receive a phone call from a person claiming to work for the CRA and saying that taxes are owed. The caller requests immediate payment by credit card or convinces the victims to purchase a prepaid credit card (the CRA never requests prepaid credit cards) and to call back immediately with the information. The taxpayer is often threatened with court charges, jail or deportation.
Tyreman said the scam has been successful because the caller is very aggressive, and if hung up on, will continually call back. Due to the advancement in computer technology/hacking, the calls are sometimes being routed through systems that can display any phone number the scammer chooses, which in recent cases, has been the local RCMP Detachment phone number, from the area where the call is received.
Tyreman recommends if you want to confirm that a CRA representative has contacted you, call the CRA at 1-800-959-8281 for individual concerns or 1-800-959-5525 for business-related calls.
To find out more information and to hear an example of a real scam telephone call, visit; www.cra-arc.gc.ca/fraudprevention.
If you suspect that you have been contacted by a scammer, note the phone number showing on call display and contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, toll free at 1-888-495-8501 or online at www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca.