Tax scam making the rounds, RCMP say

by Morinville News Staff

The past few weeks have seen RCMP receiving complaints about phone calls from individuals claiming to be from Canada Revenue Agency and the RCMP. Police say callers claim that the potential victim owes money in taxes which must be paid as soon as possible. One incident involved the suspect advising the victim to purchase Google Play cards to repay money to CRA. Police say the calls are high pressure and, in some cases, the victim is threatened with arrest if the amounts are not paid.

RCMP say the scam is not new but is common during tax season each year, and that those involved will spoof legitimate numbers so call display shows the official Canada Revenue Agency or local RCMP Detachment numbers.

RCMP offer the following information:

· No legitimate government agency or business will demand payment in gift cards or prepaid credit cards. These methods are used by criminals in order to hide their activities from police;

· If you receive a call from someone claiming you owe money, get as much information from them as possible and tell them you will call them back. Find the government agencies’ phone number through a trusted source (phone book, or official website) and call the department back. Don’t trust the phone number or email from the caller until you have verified that they are who they say they are;

· Do not share any personal information with the caller, such as confirm name, social insurance number, address, etc.…

· The best protection from scammers is to learn how to resist being pushed into a decision regardless of how persuasive or aggressive the scammer may be. Arm yourself and the vulnerable people in your life by learning how to recognize and protect yourself from fraud at Canada’s Anti-Fraud Centre. www.antifraudcentre.ca and http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/scrty/frdprvntn/menu-eng.html.

Police ask that calls be reported to the Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.

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