Scammers contacting the public claiming to be Canada Revenue Agency workers

Niagara Regional Police Service press release – For many months, the Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS) has received reports of scam phone calls involving persons claiming to be Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) workers.

This scam involves threatening or coercive language to scare individuals into paying fictitious debt to the CRA, or they can be arrested. This debt repayment may involve gift cards, wire transfers or cyber-based currency. The member of the public is then asked about their personal banking information and social insurance number.

This is done under the guise of paying a fine instead of an arrest and “verifying” the potential victim’s identity.

This scam is further complicated by the use of technology that can cause a phone display to show a local Niagara telephone number, or a NRPS registered telephone number.  This is called “spoofing”.

Detectives with the Niagara Regional Police Fraud Unit, have received further information, that the scam callers have become more aggressive with their tactics. If the member of the public agrees to attend a financial institution, they are given specific and direct instruction on how to conduct themselves during the process. The scammer will attempt to keep the victim on the phone, until such time the purchase of gift cards or transfer of funds is complete.

Members of the public are advised to be cautious of such scams and know that the Canada Revenue Agency will not call you and ask for banking information while telling you, you will be arrested.  The Canada Revenue Agency would never negotiate payments for fines over the phone or roadside.  Furthermore, the Canada Revenue Agency does not accept etransfers or wire payments for any fees or services.

If you receive a call saying you owe money to the CRA, you can call or check “My Account” on line at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/scrty/frdprvntn/menu-eng.html .

If you have been a victim of a scam and suffered a financial loss please call our dispatch to report to file a report (905-688-4111).  If you received one of these calls/messages but did not experience a financial loss, please report by calling Phonebusters at 1-888-495-8501 or contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/index-eng.htm

Tips

  • If you suspect it is a scam, it may be.  DO NOT provide personal banking information.
  • If you suspect it is a scam, just hang up. Do your own research to determine validity.
  • Never wire money based on a request made over the phone or in an email, especially overseas.
  • People should resist the pressure to act quickly if the offer is too good to be true it probably is.
  • Do not provide personal information (e.g. SIN, passport number, credit card numbers, or banking information) over the phone unless you placed the call and you know who you are speaking to.
  • Accredited businesses and Government Agencies will never ask for payment using gift cards of any kind or bitcoin.
  • Visit http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/index-eng.htm
  • Consider adding your phone number to the National Do Not Call List www.lnnte-dncl.gc.ca/index-eng
  • Consult with someone you trust before you agree to give large sums of money to anyone.
  • Consider sharing this information with everyone you know to get the message out.
  • Talk to elderly friends, neighbors, and family who may not be connected to social media or may have missed previous warnings in the news.

For more information on scams in Niagara click the link: https://www.niagarapolice.ca/en/what-we-do/fraudprotection.aspx