by Morinville News Staff

The RCMP and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) are warning Canadians about an ongoing CRA phone scam.

The scammers tell taxpayers they either owe money to the CRA or have a tax refund. When told they owe money, taxpayers are threatened with arrest or jail if they do not take immediate action by providing money, personal or financial information.

“The CRA takes these matters very seriously and provides substantial information to Canadians about how to protect themselves from scams undertaken using the CRA’s name,” said the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue in a release Thursday. “Informing yourself is particularly important during the tax filing season when such scams peak.”

Assistant Commissioner Todd Shean, who leads the RCMP’s Federal Policing Special Services, said scammers are always seeking new ways to gain personal information or money,” he said. “The RCMP works every day to track down fraudsters and bring them to justice, but raising awareness about fraud is also important as it is one of the most effective ways of protecting Canadians from scammers. The more you know about a specific fraud, the less likely you’ll be a victim of that fraud.”

RCMP remind people when CRA employees call taxpayers, they follow established procedures to protect personal information. They advise contacting the CRA at 1-800-959-8281 to confirm the call.

Residents are advised to contact the RCMP and their bank if they believe they have been the victim of fraud or given personal or financial information in error.

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