Police warn about tax-related scam
After recent reports of a tax-related telephone scam, the Calgary Police Service is again warning Calgarians about fraudulent telephone calls from someone claiming to represent the Canada Revenue Agency.
In December 2014, police became aware of two new cases where people received a phone call from someone claiming to be from the Canada Revenue Agency. The caller told the victims that they owed back taxes and that they would be arrested if they did not pay the debt immediately.
The caller usually has some of the victim’s personal information, including their name, address and even bank account details. Victims are instructed to pay the debt with prepaid credit cards or through a money transfer service, and are kept on the phone until the transaction is complete.
In total, 35 victims of this scam have been identified in 2014, and it appears members of the Southeast Asian community are being targeted. All the victims combined have been defrauded of approximately $60,000.
Police are reminding citizens that the Canada Revenue Agency will never ask a person to send cash or prepaid credit cards as payment, and they also do not threaten to immediately arrest the person if a payment is not made. Citizens are also encouraged to confirm that a call is legitimate when contacted by a representative from the Canada Revenue Agency by calling the agency back directly through one of their published telephone numbers, such as 1-800-959-8281.
Anyone that has received a communication that they think may be a scam should contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre to report it. A report can be filed online at www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca or by phone at 1-888-495-8501.
Anyone who has been a victim of this scam, has suffered a loss or is aware of a possible suspect should call the Calgary Police Service non-emergency number at 403-266-1234 to make a report. Information about possible suspects can also be provided anonymously to Crime Stoppers using any of the following methods:
TEXT: tttTIPS to 274637