The Sault Ste. Marie Police Service would again like to remind the public of a scam involving Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
The Sault Ste. Marie Police Service has released several alerts regarding this scam; however, the Fraud Unit has received reports of persons being taken advantage of. Police would like to encourage the public to take a few minutes and share this message with your loved ones.
In one of the most recent incidents locally the victim received numerous phones calls from an aggressive male advising that he was with CRA. The victim was advised that if they did not pay the owing money for income tax that a law enforcement agency would be notified and a warrant would be issued for their arrest. The victim was intimidated and the fraudster walked the victim through steps on how to transfer money.
Furthermore the victim was directed to purchase a variety of gift cards and provide the fraudster with the purchase number. This resulted in the victim being out of a significant amount of money.
The Sault Ste. Marie Police Service and the CRA advise that taxpayers should be vigilant when they receive, either by telephone, mail, text message or email, a fraudulent communication that claims to be from the CRA requesting personal information such as a social insurance number, credit card number, bank account number, or passport number.
The scammer may insist that this personal information is needed so that the taxpayer can receive a refund or a benefit payment. Cases of fraudulent communication could also involve threatening or coercive language to scare individuals into paying fictitious debt to the CRA. Other communications urge taxpayers to visit a fake CRA website where the taxpayer is then asked to verify their identity by entering personal information.
These are scams and taxpayers should never respond to these fraudulent communications or click on any of the links provided.
- If you receive a call that says you owe funds keep in mind the CRA has a toll free number. You can also go to their website and check under “my Account” to be sure.
- If the contact from CRA asks for your social insurance number, credit card number, bank account number or passport number these are all red flags that this is a scam. Do not provide the information.
- The CRA will not ask for any personal information by email or text message. They will not request payment by prepaid credit cards.
- The only time the CRA will send an email containing links is if you have call them and request a specific form or link. They will forward you that information during the telephone call.
- The CRA does not take payment for income tax via gift cards.
- A scammer will threaten you and try to intimidate you and lead you to believe that if you do not provide funds within 72 hours that a warrant will be issued for your arrest and the police will come to your door and arrest you. Threats and scare tactics are a red flag.
The CRA is aware of these scams and has provided information on their website on how you recognize a scam involving their agency. Be sure to visit them at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/ntcs/bwr-eng.html
Please be sure to share this information with any family members or friends who may not have access to the internet.
Knowledge is the key to preventing scams.