Friday, February 19, 2016

Canada Revenue Agency Phone Scam

Phone scams have been around for almost as long as there have been phones, but the advent and rapid dissemination of technology has made them easier to produce and more convincing. With tax season upon us, the Canada Revenue agency phone scam is once again circulating Calgary and across the country.. What often plays out is that your hone rings and a recorded and automated voice message tells you that an arrest warrant has been issued in yuor name and that the police will be coming to your home. This is followed by a number for you to call, at which point they will aggressively tell yo you must send money to avoid arrest.

According top Global TV, in 2015 5,000 complaints across Canada were filed with victims losing $700,000 – that includes almost 400 people in Quebec who lost a combined $42,000. That being said, only about five per cent of fraud victims actually report the fraud, and those numbers are just the tip of the iceberg.Further still. newcomers to Canada in the form of refugees or immigrants are prime targets for such scams due to their lack of knowledge on the Canadian tax system and at times, the language barrier.

Bottom line, taxpayers should know how the CRA works – they send letters in the mail first if there are any tax issues and they will send several follow up letters. Further still, they never threaten to send in the police and would never ask for payment through a money transfer service like Western Union or Moneygram.

The RCMP said if people are concerned about a possible phone scam, they should call the CRA at 1-800-959-8281.We have had a number of our clients here at CIES receive calls and with that in mind this post not only brings awareness, but provides a great way to protect yourself using 411 Reverse look up which can be seen in the video below. The video includes a recording of an actual phone call scam received by one of our own staff CIES staff members, so be sure to take a look and pass this along to others!

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