The CRA tax scam is back

Red Deer RCMP warn the public after more fall victim to tax scam

The CRA tax scam has reared its ugly head in Red Deer again in the past week, and several Red Deer victims are out thousands of dollars each after being persuaded by aggressive callers to pay “overdue” taxes with gift cards, Steam cards (an online game), prepaid credit cards or bitcoin.

The scam has many variations – sometimes it uses pre-recorded messages, sometimes numerous calls from a person who continues to increase the level of their threats of arrest or deportation in ongoing attempts to pressure their victims into sending money. Several recent files saw the scammers call back after successfully victimizing Red Deerians once, telling them they owed even more money. One Red Deer complainant reported that their phone display showed the Red Deer RCMP complaint line number, and that the scammer claimed to have a warrant from the Alberta RCMP for their arrest.

No matter the variation in the approach scammers take, key facts are always the same:

· Even if you do owe money to Canada Revenue Agency, they do NOT accept payment in gift cards or bitcoin. No legitimate agency does.

· Any legitimate caller will encourage you to call back independently to verify their claim. Do NOT call back to a number the caller gives you. Look up CRA or the appropriate agency and call them yourself.

· If police call you on police business, they will give you verifiable facts including a file number and their name and rank. If you get a threatening phone call claiming to represent police and asking for money, ask for those verifiable facts, hang up and call your local police detachment to check.

· Remember that scammers frequently use “number spoofing” to make it look like their call is coming from a legitimate organization.

In the past few days, Red Deer RCMP have received more than 30 reports of the tax scam, including from a handful of victims who have lost between $1,500 and $4,700 each. If you receive a call from a tax scammer, you do not need to report it to police unless you have fallen victim to their scam. Just hang up the phone. These scammers are usually located outside of Canada, making it impossible for RCMP to locate them.

“Red Deer RCMP urge people to ask questions, be skeptical of phone calls from anyone who is demanding money, and to educate themselves about these very common scams,” says Corporal Karyn Kay of the Red Deer RCMP. “Check your facts and do your research, and be alert to red flags such as anyone demanding payment through gift cards or pre-paid credit cards. Then, when you get a call from a scammer, hang up and ignore them.”

Learn more about how to recognize and protect yourself from fraud at www.antifraudcentre.ca.

– Connolly

Just Posted

Yellow Vests protestors take to Red Deer streets

Trudeau government’s immigration and oil industry policies denounced at rally

Rebels lose to Medicine Hat Tigers, 4-1

Tigers break Rebels’ three-game winning streak

Red Deer’s newest outdoor ice facility opens to the public next week

The speed skating oval at Setters Place at Great Chief Park will be open Dec. 17th

Exhibition explores the rich history and culture of Métis people

The exhibition is on display from Dec. 15th to March 10th at the Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery

2019 Hockey Alberta Provincial Championship host sites announced

A total of 39 Provincial Championships will be hosted across the province

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

Of the 105 current senators, 54 are now independents who have banded together in Independent Senators’ Group

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

‘I practically begged’: B.C. woman with breast cancer denied referral to Calgary

Breast cancer patient left to fight disease alone after being denied referral to Calgary

Facebook reveals bug gave apps unauthorized access to 6.8 million users’ photos

It’s believed up to 1,500 apps built by 876 developers had access to Facebook Stories, private photos

21 detained before Paris protests as police deploy in force

There was a strong police presence outside the central Saint Lazare train station, where police in riot gear checked bags

New home for Calgary Flames estimated to cost up to $600 million

The city and the Flames are not yet talking on who will pay how much for a building to replace the Saddledome

Family searching for B.C. professor last seen at Colombian salsa club

Ramazan Gencay, a professor in economics at Simon Fraser University, was last seen in Medellin

Most Read