Victoria, BC – Patrol officers are warning the public after a Victoria woman lost $4000 to CRA scammers.
Patrol officers were dispatched to a fraud call just after 1 p.m. yesterday. The victim reported that she had received an automated telephone call from the “Strathmore RCMP” indicating that a warrant had been issued for her arrest after Service Canada began investigating a Canada Revenue Agency related incident involving her social insurance number (SIN). The scammers were aggressive, manipulative and convincing. They insisted that the victim stay on the phone, apart from one instance where they provided her a telephone number to call to convince her that the scam was legitimate. The victim was instructed to convert money into bitcoin for payment. She lost approximately $4000.
In a twist, the investigating officer received an “auto-dialer” call from the “Strathmore Police” to his personal phone while investigating this fraud. This call did not, unfortunately, lead to the identification of suspects. The call does suggest that these calls are working their way through Esquimalt and Victoria and officers are urging the public to be vigilant.
Many of these Canada Revenue Agency frauds are perpetuated by organized crime groups based overseas. Victims often do not see their funds returned.
Service Canada and the Canada Revenue Agency will not telephone you to inform you that there is a warrant for your arrest. They will not ask for payment by bitcoin or gift card. If you receive a phone call from the “Strathmore Police” indicating that there is a warrant for your arrest due to a Service Canada or Revenue Canada issue with your social insurance number hang up. It is likely a fraud. If you have concerns, please call the Canada Revenue Agency directly.
To learn more about how to avoid being victimized by scammers, please visit vicpd.ca/fraud.
To report an unsuccessful fraud attempt please visit: https://antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/report-signalez-eng.htm