Victoria BC- With only a few weeks until tax time, Financial Crime Detectives have seen an increase in reports of the “Canada Revenue Agency” scam.
So far in 2018 alone, losses reported to VicPD as a result of the scam have totaled $25,000. Investigators are also seeing more spoofing of phones numbers where, in one investigation, the victim divulged his accountant’s information then moments later got a call from his “accountant” which really was one of the fraudsters.
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 claims 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.
With the increase in popularity of Bitcoin, a form of cryptocurrency, it is important to remember that the Canada Revenue Agency does not accept this as payment as it is not a recognized currency.
VicPD Fraud Investigators remind everyone that the Canada Revenue Agency never contacts people over the phone to discuss fraud concerns, and never threatens arrest over the phone. 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.