Early this week, a resident in rural Rimbey complained of individuals coming to their door claiming to be from the Canada Revenue Agency.
According to the statement, a female individual wearing a wig and a false CRA name tag came to the complainant’s front door, told the resident they had problems with their taxes, and demanded $6,000 be paid immediately in order to avoid arrest.
When the complainant refused to hand over any money until they got confirmation from the police that there was, in fact, reason for arrest, the female left the residence and drove away in a white Ford truck. Thankfully no one was harmed, nor did any money exchange hands, however this is still an alarming incident. If something similar happens to you in the future, make sure to notify police immediately.
In light of this incident, Rimbey RCMP would like to remind the community about some other frauds and scams of which to be aware. Ranging from phone scams to buy-and-sell scams, it can be hard to differentiate between what is legitimate and what is, in fact, fraudulent activity.
Seemingly the most common scams being reported in the Rimbey area are Canada Revenue Agency telephone scams. These calls typically begin with an automated voice message threatening the arrest of the recipient of the call for unpaid taxes. In addition, there may be further requests made by the scammers for immediate payment through methods like e-transfer, cryptocurrency, or gift cards.
While it’s true the CRA sometimes contacts taxpayers by phone, the CRA will never threaten arrest, will never use aggressive language, or demand immediate payment with any of the methods listed above.
To protect yourself, always confirm who has contacted you and never provide personal information such as banking information or your Social Insurance number over the phone.
Another type of fraud activity to make note of are buy-and-sell scams. Though buy-and-sell websites are convenient, always be cautious when conducting business online. Anyone is susceptible to becoming a victim through selling goods online. Be cautious when it comes to sending deposits to unknown persons, buying items sight unseen, or purchasing items from overseas.
In order to protect yourself, its important to remember a few things: if the asking price of an item is too good to be true, it probably is; beware of overseas buyers who want to purchase items sight unseen or ask you to ship items; be cautious about generic emails with bad spelling and grammar; and always meet in a local, public, and safe location to exchange goods.
With this being said, if you are a victim of any sort of fraudulent activity, its important to report it. The true number of victims impacted by frauds such as these are substantially higher than what is reported simply due to the fact that people are often too embarrassed to come forward. The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) says that on average, fewer than 5% of victim’s report.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of any sort of scam, you are encouraged to report to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501. For more information on scams and frauds, visit the CAFC website at www.antifraudcentre.ca.
As we get further into winter and the threat of snowfall is ever present, Rimbey RCMP would like to remind residents to clean any snow or ice off of house numbers and blue address signs so they are clearly visible. In addition, be sure to know directions to your home, or at the very least the street number, range road, or township road in order to give accurate travel directions to emergency personnel. Simple steps such as these may not seem like much, but can make a world of difference in an emergency situation.
On a more exciting note, Rimbey Victim Services would like to give the community a friendly reminder about their upcoming Charity Check Stop fundraiser.
Held in partnership with the Rimbey RCMP, the Ponoka County West District Fire Department, and Rimbey Citizens on Patrol, the event collects donations of non-perishable food items, new unwrapped toys, and cash for the Rimbey Food Bank. Proceeds will help families in the community during the holiday season. Find the event on 50th Avenue near the 49th Street intersection between 11:00am and 2:00pm on November 28th.
In the last week Rimbey RCMP responded to 35 calls for service. These files include but are not limited to: four suspicious vehicle or person reports; three reports of assault; three complaints of mischief; and two break and enter files.
If you have information regarding these or any other crimes, please call the local Rimbey RCMP Detachment at 403-843-2224 or contact Crime Stoppers:
#8477 on Telus Mobility
*8477 on Rogers AT&T
Crime Stoppers is a community program that works! Do your part and call now.