Officers with the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service have seen an increase in the number of calls for service regarding fraudulent transactions received via telephone and online.
Scammers are contacting unsuspecting victims, identifying themselves as representatives from the Canada Revenue Agency and telling them they owe back taxes.
Victims are instructed to purchase a variety of gift cards and provide them to the scammer over the phone or online. We’ve seen cases recently where victims are scammed out of as much as $1,000.
Please be aware that legitimate officials with the Canada Revenue Agency will never ask you to transfer funds over the phone and will never ask for payment in gift cards.
If you receive a call or message such as this, we recommend you DO NOT release any of your personal information to the caller and then end the call by hanging up the phone. These callers tend to prey on elderly people so we encourage members of the public to educate your friends and family members about online or phone scams.
If you believe there may be some validity to a call from Canada Revenue Agency or some other bank or agency, contact the government, bank or agency directly yourself. Official contact numbers and addresses are available from the actual government or agency website or phone book entry. Call or attend your local agency office or branch to enquire regarding you affairs.
If you are weary that a phone call you receive may be a potential scammer please do not hesitate to call police at 705-949-6300 or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.