Police warn public of aggressive scam
The Calgary Police Service is warning Calgarians of an increasingly aggressive scam, where scammers purport to be with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and the Calgary Police Service.
At approximately 11 a.m., on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, a male victim received a phone call from a male stating that he was with the CRA and that the victim owed back taxes. The victim was then told that warrants were out for his arrest that would be executed if he did not pay the outstanding taxes.
The conversation continued and the victim was told that one of the officers executing the warrant would be Staff Sergeant Kristie Verheul with the Calgary Police Service.
The victim proceeded to attend a Canada Post outlet and sent an undisclosed amount of money through a wire service. The victim also provided his Social Insurance Number to the scammer. After the conversation concluded, the victim realized he had been scammed and contacted police.
Staff Sergeant Verheul is with the Calgary Police Service Economic Crimes Unit and is investigating the CRA scam and other scams. At no time would Staff Sergeant Verheul contact members of the public in this manner. Scammers have obtained her name through the Service’s numerous warnings regarding this scam in the media.
Police encourage anyone who believes they may have lost money to one of these scams to call the Calgary Police non-emergency line at 403-266-1234. Anyone who may have other information about these scams, including unsuccessful attempts to obtain money, is asked to contact the non-emergency number, online through calgarypolice.ca through the ‘Report a crime’ link, or Crime Stoppers anonymously using any of the following methods: TALK: 1-800-222-8477, TYPE: www.calgarycrimestoppers.org, TEXT: tttTIPS to 274637.
Citizens can help protect themselves using the following practices:
- Do not feel pressure to respond to a request until you have a chance to verify the story.
- Never transfer money, or give out credit card or other financial information, until you can verify the person’s identity and the story, and determine whether it is legitimate.
- The CRA will not ask for payment via prepaid credit cards or wire transfer.
- Look up published numbers for the CRA in the phone book and confirm the legitimacy of the caller’s story. Do not call numbers provided to you by the person who called you.
- Don’t believe what you see. Business logos, websites and email addresses can easily be duplicated to look legitimate.
- Watch for poor grammar and spelling.
- Contact the business directly to legitimize the communication before you take any action. Search online to get contact information from an official source.
- Hover your mouse over links to check their true destination. If the URL doesn’t match the link, or seems suspicious, don’t click on it.
- Be wary of unexpected emails that contain links or attachments from unknown senders.
- Update your computer’s anti-virus software.
- Ignore calls for immediate action or messages that create a sense of urgency.
- Beware of Phishing emails posing as the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) requesting personal information, or links within an email re-directing to a fraudulent website that appears to represent the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The CRA does not email Canadians and request personal information.
- Never provide personal information such as SIN, bank account information or credit card numbers.