Tax phone scam making the rounds locally

by Stephen Dafoe

A Morinville woman is advising residents of a phone scam making the rounds. Jackie Luker says she received a call Nov. 6 advising her she owed Revenue Canada money and that if she didn’t pay up, the police would be knocking on her door.

“It was just really weird,” Luker said. “What caught my attention was that he said ‘there was a file registered in your name and you owe money to the government,” Luker said, adding she immediately doubted the claim. The caller gave Luker the alleged file number as well as his badge number and name. “It sounded like a call centre.”

The caller told Luker she owed $974 for the 2012-2013 taxation years and that the paperwork had been sent to her address, a location the caller knew.

“In the end I said ‘I’m having a hard time believing you,’” Luker recalled. “He said ‘you can either deal with the payment or the police will be contacted and they’ll come to your door.’ It made me laugh out loud. That made him angry.”

Once Luker reiterated she did not believe the caller, the man hung up.

The Canada Revenue Agency advised Canadians of the phishing scam on their website last spring.

“Examples of recent telephone scams involve threatening or coercive language to scare individuals into pre-paying fictitious debt to the CRA,” the post reads. “These calls should be ignored and reported to the RCMP.”

The CRA advised in that posting that they never request “information from a taxpayer about a passport, health card, or driver’s license,” nor do they ask taxpayers “to leave a message with their personal information on an answering machine.”

Additional information on taxpayer information and other examples of fraudulent communications can be found at www.cra.gc.ca/security or www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/scams-fraudes/phishing-eng.htm.

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