Fraud investigators are once again seeing a rise in the number of people hoping to scam residents out of their cash under the guise of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
The typical CRA scam involves someone calling your home phone number or cellphone and claiming to be from Revenue Canada. They indicate your account is in arrears and if action isn't taken immediately, you will be arrested. You are directed to either send cash, a money order, or purchase gift cards and send them as a means of payment.
These scammers seem very legitimate and may reference an account or personal information to back up their story. They may also indicate someone has accessed your account and they need your help to catch the culprit. They say they've deposited a certain amount of money into your account and all you have to do is wire a portion of it to a number provided. Of course no money is deposited, and the funds often end up in another country never to be seen again.
The scammers may even target the same person again encouraging them they are very close to catching the culprit and just need their help one more time. They are very aggressive and can be extremely convincing. It's important not to engage them, hang up the phone and report the incident.
Sadly, many unsuspecting residents can lose thousands of dollars as result.
Because the scam keeps changing and often crosses international borders it continues to be a huge issue for investigators. Det. Pat Waters of the DRPS Major Crime Fraud Unit says the best thing people can do is educate themselves. "We want residents to spread the word about these scams," he says. "Make sure you are telling friends and family members, especially seniors that these calls are fakes. The CRA or a bank will never call you requesting information or asking you to send money or gift cards."
You should report deceptive telemarketing to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre..
Anyone wishing to report a fraud in Durham Region is asked to contact Durham Regional Police at 1-888-579-1520.
Phone Scam (JPG file, 213.7K bytes)