(CANADA) – On October 29, 2018, Grand Falls-Windsor RCMP received a complaint from a local woman who said she received a call from someone claiming to represent the Canada Revenue Agency(CRA) advising that there was a warrant for her arrest for tax evasion. The scammer asked the woman for $5000 to avoid arrest by the RCMP.
The scammer then advised he would make a 3-way call to the RCMP to advise that the woman would be making payment. He asked the woman for the local RCMP detachment number, which she provided.
A short while later the woman received an incoming call with caller identification matching the local RCMP detachment number. The woman spoke to a man who identified himself as an RCMP officer and told her to pay CRA or she would be brought to jail.
After this call ended, the woman received another call from a man saying that he was with CRA telling her how she could make payment by purchasing Google Play cards.
RCMP warn that this is a scam and that scammers continue to come up with new ways to intimidate and to seem believable. If something seems suspicious, it often is.
If you receive a call similar to this of someone demanding money, please end the call and contact CRA directly to confirm the legitimacy prior to making any sort of payment. CRA would never accept payment in the form of a Google Play card or similar type of payment.
Mass arrests have been made in India after RCMP worked along with Indian police to crack down on CRA phone scams.
At least 70 people have been arrested this month and have resulted in a drop in the amount of telephone scam calls where crooks pretend to be the Canada Revenue Agency.
RCMP say that the arrests at call centres in India, which employ over 700 people were first believed to be centered strictly around the IRS version of the scam, which is the American counterpart to the CRA.
Police say that after the arrests were made, that the number of CRA scam calls has dropped significantly compared to the months before the bust.
The most common scam is where a person would receive a phone call in which the caller would pretend they were with the CRA, and then inform the potential victim that they owed a large sum of money. Then they go on to demand that payment be made immediately or the police would put a warrant out for their arrest, and/or they would have their assets seized.
Payment would be demanded by either email transfer, gift card, pre-paid credit card or wire transfers.
January 2014 to now more than 1,900 people have fallen for the scam and sent over $5,700,000 to scammers. Over 37,000 calls to Canadians during that time period have been made under the guise of the scam. The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre believes that this only represents about 5% of actual losses.
Our American friends south of the border have larger numbers, predictably. Estimates are that fraudsters rake in as much as $150,000 a day in US funds from Americans.
The RCMP is urging Canadians everywhere to remain vigilant as they attempt to crack down on the scam.
The CRA may occasionally call Canadians and attempt to sort out things over the phone, they never ever demand payment in the form of prepaid credit cards, gift cards, or use threatening language.
If you have provided money to scammers please report this to your local RCMP detachment. To report what you believe to be a phone scam please contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or by clicking the following link: