Friday, July 8, 2016

Victoria BC – …you are asked to pay owing taxes in the form of iTunes gift cards, prepaid Visa cards, or money transfers.

The “Canada Revenue Scam” is still active in our community. Once again, we are asking residents of Victoria and Esquimalt to speak to their loved ones, neighbours and friends educating them on the CRA Scam and how to make yourself safe.

Typically, fraudulent callers leave voicemails demanding potential victims call them back or face immediate criminal sanctions for allegedly unpaid or fraudulently filed taxes. The callers are highly aggressive and have intimidated many potential victims. The urgency with which these fraudsters demand action and the threatened repercussions are so severe that potential victims have attended our Caledonia Avenue headquarters to tearfully “turn themselves in.” Unfortunately, in addition to the emotional damage, investigators have learned of several instances over the last 14 months in which victims have sent money to the fraudsters.

Investigators are also seeing an increase in the use of call “spoofing” where the caller ID displays the phone number of an official organization. For instance, VicPD have received reports that our own non-emergency phone line, 250-995-7654, is being displayed on people’s call display and when somebody answers, the caller poses as a police officer with VicPD demanding money for taxes owing. It is important to know that we don’t do this.

VicPD is urging people to ignore these phone calls or take it upon themselves to look up the phone number of the organization and contact the organization yourselves. Never use the phone number, email address, hyperlink or website provided.  It is important to confirm the validity of the request by locating official contact information for the organization or company requesting the information‎.

It is also important to take reactive steps if you fall victim to one of these frauds. Depending on the information you give out, it is important to contact your financial institution or get a credit bureau check (which is recommended once a year).

For more information, please visit:‎