(Milton, Ontario – Monday, December 7, 2015) –Members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Greater Toronto Area Financial Crime Unit would like to warn the public of an ongoing scam by imposters claiming to be Canada Revenue Agency employees.
The following is a realistic portrayal of a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Scam that has been seen by RCMP investigators. This approach is one of many used by fraudsters.
Imagine your 91 year old grandmother is sitting at her breakfast table, she lives alone in Milton Ontario, and is simply enjoying her breakfast when the phone rings...a call from the 613 area code (Ottawa):
CRA Imposter: Mrs. Smith?
Mrs. Smith: Yes, who is this?
CRA Imposter: This is David _______ (an Anglophone surname) of the Canadian Revenue Agency. You owe money on your taxes going back 7 years.
Mrs. Smith: I don't understand how that could be, I pay my taxes every year, I am a good person. I did not get any form of notification. Can you please tell me again what is wrong, I can barely understand what you are saying due to your very strong accent.
CRA Imposter: Do not play games with me, you owe the CRA $17,000.00. We sent you notification in the mail, two months ago, as you never responded we are going to have you arrested, we have a warrant for your arrest.
Mrs. Smith: This must be a mistake, I will call my daughter, and she will help clear this up.
CRA Imposter: (Now very agitated and yelling) NO...you will call no one, you will tell no one, you are in a great deal of trouble, if you tell your daughter she will be in trouble as well. You must pay the $17,000 now, or you will go direct to jail. Listen to my instructions, otherwise we will have a RCMP agent at your house to arrest you, DO YOU UNDERSTAND?
Mrs. Smith: yes
CRA Imposter: Get your SIN card, your driver’s license, your bank cards, and your cell phone, now, what is your cell number.
Mrs. Smith: I do not have a cell phone, and I do not drive, can I call my daughter?
CRA Imposter: (agitated and yelling) You are not very bright, and you are in a lot of trouble, I told you not to tell anyone. I will get a taxi to drive you to the bank, the taxi will be there in 10 minutes. I will keep you on the phone, until the taxi gets there, as you have shown that you can't follow simple instructions, our agents will be following you. You are to go to the bank, take out $17,000, return home, and I will call you with additional directions, do you understand?
Mrs. Smith: Yes, but I am not feeling well.
CRA Imposter: Just do as I say, and everything will be ok.
Mrs. Smith: The taxi is here now.
CRA Imposter: Remember, we will be watching you.
"Mrs. Smith" went to her bank, and fortunately her banker intervened. The police were called, and they spent the next three hours convincing "Mrs. Smith", that she was a victim of the CRA scam. In this scenario, "Mrs. Smith" was one of the lucky ones, as she did not lose any money, but none-the-less this experience left her very rattled. The elderly are one of many groups who are being targeted by these fraudsters. If you are reading this, we ask you to do your part in sharing this message to everyone and educating the seniors in your life against this type of fraud.
This is a fraud that is being perpetuated coast to coast, and has impacted victims from many different age groups and cultural backgrounds.
Starting next Monday December 14th we will be posting five questions (1 question per day), related to this media advisory, on our @RCMPONT Twitter account and on our Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Ontario Facebook page, www.facebook.com/rcmp.ontario. Test your skills, and respond with the correct answer. At the end of each day we will post the right answer.
Please join in the discussion and help to raise awareness of this type of fraud.
If you or a family member has fallen victim to this fraud, please report to your local police service, as well as the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC). You have two ways to make a report to the CAFC; either by phone at 1-888-495-8501 (9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time) or through their online reporting tool at http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/reportincident-signalerincident/index-eng.htm
If you would like to have a presentation about fraud and what to look out for, please contact our media relations officer, Sergeant Penny Hermann at 905-876-9571 or email mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org