Charlottetown Police Services remind the public to be aware of the CRA phone call scam and to protect themselves against being victims of fraud. Over the last few weeks there has been an increase in reported cases.
The fraudster pretends to be with the CRA (Canada Revenue Agency), calls unwitting tax payers and tells them that they owe money from a past tax return. The tax payer is told that they will incur additional fees, face jail time, be arrested by Police or be deported if they fail to pay. In many cases, the phone number displayed is the same as local Police which makes the victim believe it’s a legitimate phone call. The fraudster will then pressure the victim into making a payment which usually consists of a bitcoin transaction, wire transfer or prepaid gift cards. These scammers are very threatening and entice fear.
The CRA will never
- ask for information about your passport, health card, or driver’s license
- demand immediate payment by Interac e-transfer, bitcoin, prepaid credit cards or gift cards from retailers such as iTunes, Amazon, or others
- use aggressive language or threaten you with arrest or sending the police
- leave voicemails that are threatening or give personal or financial information
How to protect yourself:
- Simply hang up and if you feel the need to verify if the CRA was actually trying to reach you, then call the CRA directly to inquire why they were calling you. Never provide personal information on inbound calls.