As the mild weather approaches, so does an increase in fraudsters in our communities. Spring means tax time and DRPS has seen a recent increase in the common Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) scam. Residents can also expect to hear from fraudulent landscapers and driveway pavers in the coming months.
The DRPS has been receiving approximately 25 calls daily from residents reporting that they have received calls from a person claiming to be an officer from the CRA. This person tells the victims that they owe a substantial amount of back taxes. The suspect then threatens that if monies are not paid, they will be arrested. The suspect also will negotiate payment and will suggest a lesser amount collected by way of a third party card, gift card, credit card or pre-paid gift card.
Residents should know the Canada Revenue Agency they will never do the following:
- Ask for personal information of any kind by email or text message.
- request payments by prepaid credit cards.
- Give taxpayers information to another person, unless authorization is provided by the taxpayer.
- Leave personal information on an answering machine.
Many of the suspects who target residents with snow removal scams during the winter, often switch over to landscaping, interlock work and driveway scams as the snow melts. They usually begin reaching out this time of year, by phone or coming door-to-door offering quotes and asking for hefty cash deposits.
Residents are asked to be mindful of companies coming door to door offering services. There are many legitimate organizations out there and there are a few tips to keep in mind before handing over any cash or signing a contract:
- Always get a minimum of three quotes from contractors for a project before going forward
-Insist the contractor provides references and be sure to follow up with them
-Research contractors or companies online
-Be wary of over inflated down payments
-If a deal appears too good to be true it usually is
Take a look at our safety video here.
Unfortunately the majority of fraud related activity is not reported. If you have information regarding these scammers or feel you have been a victim of a fraud in Durham Region please contact the DRPS at 1-888-579-1520.
Anonymous information can be sent to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or www.durhamregionalcrimestoppers.ca and tipsters may be eligible for a $2,000 cash reward.
For more information on common scams, visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre here or by calling 1-888-495-8501.
Common Scams (JPG file, 213.7K bytes)