NT RCMP are warning Northerners about a phone scam where fraudsters are pretending to be calling from recognizable government agencies.
There have been reports of phone scams across Canada, where fraudsters are personating Canada Federal agencies employees, such as Revenue Agency's or Police Officers with fake names and badge numbers.
The person calling may be claiming the victim committed fraud, and that they owe money to the CRA. The fraudster is then threatening that if the person does not comply either "an arrest warrant will be issued" or police will come to your home to immediately arrest you. The public should be aware that police do not collect money for the Canada Revenue Agency.
Northwest Territories RCMP are aware of a file brought to an RCMP detachment, where the fraudsters called and personified a Canada Revenue Agency's employee.
The fraudsters further told the victim that money is owed to the CRA and that they will be arrested if they do not pay immediately. The fraudsters said that a warrant of arrest had already been issued under the person's name. The victim then received a call from a recognizable NT RCMP number (1111). After verification, the phone call did not originate from an RCMP detachment.
In light of this recent scam being reported in the Northwest Territories, NT RCMP want to share a few tips to help people recognize they are potentially facing a fraud scheme.
- If you are unsure if the caller is a legitimate government agency, hang-up. Do not give out any personal information, including Social Insurance Number, identification numbers, passwords, or financial information over the phone.
- If you are not sure if a message is from the CRA, confirm your tax status with the CRA online through a CRA secure portals such as My Account or by calling 1-800-959-8281.
- File a report with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) toll-free at 1-888-495-8501 or online, whether you paid money or not.
- Report the scam to your local police if you paid money (this includes purchasing pre-paid credit cards, gift cards, or online currency such as Bitcoin).
- If you sent money or shared financial information, report it to the financial institution used e.g. your bank, Western Union, MoneyGram.
- If your social insurance number has also been stolen, contact Service Canada at 1-800-206-7218.
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre offers tips on how people can protect themselves on their website: http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/protectyourself-protegezvous/index-eng.htm
If you think you have been a victim of a scam, contact your local RCMP detachment, call the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or use their online Fraud Reporting System: https://www.services.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/chooser-eng.html?ipeReferer=CAFCFRS