Date:   Dec 21, 2015

101-year-old Senior Puts Kibosh on ‘CRA’ Scammers

Victoria, BC – VicPD investigators are warning the public after a 101-year-old senior unraveled a “CRA” scam at her care facility, but only after two of her fellow residents had already fallen victim.

The senior notified support staff at James Bay New Horizons Centre after being contacted by telephone by scammers posing as representatives of the Canada Revenue Agency. The scammers, whose demeanour is often highly aggressive, claimed that she had outstanding taxes and that she was about to be prosecuted. Unfazed, the centenarian informed her care staff, who in turn took immediate action.

As James Bay New Horizons staff spoke with local residents, they discovered that two of their members had fallen victim to the scammers. One resident lost $450 – half her monthly rent – to the convincing scammers. Another resident lost $600. The non-profit James Bay New Horizons Centre gathered the funds to cover the rent.  Staff have reached out to various nearby partners in the community to inform them of the scam.

The “Canada Revenue Agency” scam is typified by unsolicited calls to unsuspecting victims. The fraudsters, who are often aggressive, claim the potential victim has fraudulently mispresented their tax returns and are facing legal action. Often the fraudster claim police are on their way to arrest the potential victim unless he or she pays an immediate reduced fine. With the scammers often calling from overseas locations, once paid, victims are often left with little recourse to recover their lost funds.

VicPD Fraud Investigators remind everyone that the Canada Revenue Agency never contacts people over the phone to discuss fraud concerns, and never threaten arrest over the phone unless a reduced fine is paid during that conversation. If you have concerns after being contacted by someone claiming to be from the CRA, you can always telephone the CRA yourself at 1-800-959-8281. With fraudsters preying on the elderly, investigators also ask that you speak with your older relatives and friends about this potential scam.

If you, or someone you know has fallen victim to the “CRA” scam, please call the VicPD non-emergency line at (250) 995-7654. If someone has attempted to scam you, but you’ve not fallen for it, please share your story with someone close to you.