Recognizing the scam is the key to crime prevention, police say
OPP is reminding residents to be on alert when receiving telemarketing phone calls, as local residents continue to be contacted.
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) telephone scam targets consumers across the country. Recognizing the scam is the key to crime prevention, police say.
Fraudsters are calling consumers impersonating the CRA and claiming that a recent audit has identified discrepancies from past filed taxes. Repayment is required immediately. Fraudsters threaten consumers that failure to pay will result in additional fees, jail time and/or deportation. Fraudsters may request payment via money service business, pre‐paid cards / gift cards (iTunes) or bitcoin.
Consumers receive an email or text message indicating a refund is pending from the CRA. The email includes a link that directs consumers to a website that looks like the actual CRA. Consumers are asked to fill in their personal information such as Social Insurance Number, date of birth and banking information before receiving the refund (email money transfer). Victims who input their personal information are subject to identity fraud. No refund is ever issued.
Warning Signs - How to Protect Yourself
- In most cases, the CRA will use registered mail to contact consumers - not email or phone.
- Contact the CRA directly to confirm whether you owe back taxes or are entitled to a refund.
- Never provide personal information over the telephone, by text or email.
- The CRA would never request payment by money service business, such as iTunes gift cards or bitcoin.
- For more information about frauds involving the CRA, visit www.cra‐arc.gc.ca.
- 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 the scammers, contact your financial institution to place alerts on your account.
If you think you or someone you know has been a victim of fraud, please contact the Canadian Anti‐Fraud Centre at 1‐888‐495‐8501 or report online at www.antifraudcentre.ca.