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Retailers/residents warned to be wary of scammers

Castlegar RCMP are reminding people not to fall for the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) scams, according to Sgt. Laurel Mathew. 

“On Jan. 22, a resident was scammed out of $1,200 when the ‘CRA representative’ stated that they would be arresting this person if the ‘debt’ was not paid ASAP,” Mathew said. “The victim was told to purchase $1,200 in STEAM Fast Cards (video game play), scratch the bar codes, and provide the code to a fellow named David Ordon who claimed to be from the CRA.  

“This was done, and by the time the RCMP called to have the cards cancelled, they were all at zero balance already and the victim was out this money. This scam happens with any number of gift cards, from any number of stores.”

Mathew added that businessesare encouraged to engage with people who are purchasing large lots of gift cards just to ensure they aren't purchasing them with the intention of paying the CRA. Although the scams are very much in the news and online, many folks are still not aware and when they feel threatened with arrest, they do as they are told.

“If in doubt whether something is legitimate or not, please call your local police and ask before sending money or making purchases for the CRA. The CRA does not work this way, and they certainly will not say they are coming to arrest you or sending the police to arrest you.”

She said that while many of the email addresses that scammers are using look legitimate, but they are not.  Banks, CRA, and other businesses are showing up as emails telling people to ‘click here’ to change your settings, payment options, or that something has expired, etc.  If in doubt, contact the company before clicking on, or changing anything via your computer.   

“Keeping these scams public and being talked about will hopefully save people from going through the humiliation and financial loss that these scams are causing.”

The Castlegar detachment non-emergency line is 250-365-7721.