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Fraudsters pose as RCMP in CRA scam
A fraudster posing as Grand Forks RCMP officer demanded money on behalf of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for back taxes, fines and a fee from a Boundary citizen said Sgt. J.(Jim) Fenske in a media release.
"The scammer told the citizen that the R.C.M.P. would be arresting the person and "seizing" her children if she did not pay her taxes," Fenske explained after a citizen contacted the detachment to report the incident.
"Later the citizen got a phone call using the Grand Forks RCMP phone number on her cell phone," Fenske added.
"The caller pretended to be the R.C.M.P. Detachment Commander. These scammers are using the R.C.M.P. Detachment phone number and quoting members names and badge numbers as a form of intimidation. This is a scam.
Fenske said the scammers tell taxpayers that they either owe money to the C.R.A. or have a tax refund. Taxpayers are threatened with arrest or jail time if they do not take immediate action and provide money, other securities, gift cards or personal or financial information.
The scammers are becoming more rude and intimidating.
"The CRA takes these matters very seriously and provides substantial information to Canadians about how to protect themselves from scams undertaken using the C.R.A.'s name," said the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue.
"Informing yourself is particularly important during the tax filing season, when such scams peak."
This information, including examples of real scam telephone calls and e-mails, can be easily found on the C.R.A. web site.
"Scammers are always looking for new ways to get your money or your personal information," warns Assistant Commissioner Todd Shean, who leads the RCMP's Federal Policing Special Services.
"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."
The RCMP plays a crucial role in educating the public about scams, and has a number of programs in place to track fraud, including one run by the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC).
The CAFC monitors all types of scams, and warns Canadians to be on the lookout for scammers during the upcoming tax season. The R.C.M.P. also works closely with the C.R.A. to raise awareness about tax-related scams.
When C.R.A. employees call taxpayers, they follow established procedures to ensure personal information is protected. To confirm the authenticity of a call, contact the C.R.A.by using its official telephone number for individual tax enquiries: 1-800-959-8281. You can also verify your individual tax account through a secure C.R.A. portal: My Account.
If you believe you may be the victim of fraud or have given personal or financial information in error, contact your local police service and your financial institution. The Grand Forks Detachment has free booklets to give away which contain lots of information regarding the popular scams.