Police warning of scammers impersonating Canada Revenue Agency
Published Jan. 23, 2018
Haliburton Highlands Ontario Provincial Police has received several complaints from residents of Haliburton County regarding a common scam with a fraudster impersonating a representative of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Whether by telephone or by email, the pitch involves one of two variations. The fraudsters are demanding that outstanding taxes are paid by a money service business or by pre-paid debit/credit cards; or they are phishing for identification in order to fulfill a potential refund.
The tactics used by these fraudsters are quite aggressive, persistent and meant to cause panic in the victims. Consumers and businesses may receive a notification by phone or email that they owe “back taxes” as the result of an audit. The payment must be made immediately to avoid a fine or the recipient is told there is an outstanding warrant that can be avoided if the payment is made promptly. In many cases, individuals are told they will be arrested if the taxes are not paid right away.
Warning sign(s) – How to protect yourself
- Do not take immediate action. Verify that what you are being told is the truth.
- Contact the CRA to confirm that you in fact owe back taxes, or are entitled to a refund before providing any personal or banking information.
- Ask yourself why the CRA would be asking for personal information over the phone or email that they likely already have on file for you as a taxpayer.
- For more information about scams involving the CRA visit the Canada Revenue website at www.cra-arc.gc.ca/scrty/frdprvntn/menu-eng.html. For more information on other frauds, call the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or www.antifraudcentre.ca.