The CRA tax scam is back

RCMP warn the public after more fall victim to tax scam

The CRA tax scam has reared its ugly head in Central Alberta again in the past week, and several Red Deer victims are out thousands of dollars each after being persuaded by aggressive callers to pay “overdue” taxes with gift cards, Steam cards (an online game), prepaid credit cards or bitcoin.

The scam has many variations – sometimes it uses pre-recorded messages, sometimes numerous calls from a person who continues to increase the level of their threats of arrest or deportation in ongoing attempts to pressure their victims into sending money. Several recent files saw the scammers call back after successfully victimizing Red Deerians once, telling them they owed even more money. One Red Deer complainant reported that their phone display showed the Red Deer RCMP complaint line number, and that the scammer claimed to have a warrant from the Alberta RCMP for their arrest.

No matter the variation in the approach scammers take, key facts are always the same:

· Even if you do owe money to Canada Revenue Agency, they do NOT accept payment in gift cards or bitcoin. No legitimate agency does.

· Any legitimate caller will encourage you to call back independently to verify their claim. Do NOT call back to a number the caller gives you. Look up CRA or the appropriate agency and call them yourself.

· If police call you on police business, they will give you verifiable facts including a file number and their name and rank. If you get a threatening phone call claiming to represent police and asking for money, ask for those verifiable facts, hang up and call your local police detachment to check.

· Remember that scammers frequently use “number spoofing” to make it look like their call is coming from a legitimate organization.

In the past few days, Red Deer RCMP have received more than 30 reports of the tax scam, including from a handful of victims who have lost between $1,500 and $4,700 each. If you receive a call from a tax scammer, you do not need to report it to police unless you have fallen victim to their scam. Just hang up the phone. These scammers are usually located outside of Canada, making it impossible for RCMP to locate them.

“Red Deer RCMP urge people to ask questions, be skeptical of phone calls from anyone who is demanding money, and to educate themselves about these very common scams,” says Corporal Karyn Kay of the Red Deer RCMP. “Check your facts and do your research, and be alert to red flags such as anyone demanding payment through gift cards or pre-paid credit cards. Then, when you get a call from a scammer, hang up and ignore them.”

Learn more about how to recognize and protect yourself from fraud at www.antifraudcentre.ca.

– Connolly

Just Posted

New Lacombe Lodge, Parkview Manor priorities for Lacombe Foundation

Lacombe Foundation conducting public consultations to be shovel-ready

LRWSC appoints new Commission Manager

ay Hohn has been with the LRWSC for the past two years as an Operator and Safety Coordinator.

Wolf Creek Schools superintendent receives contract extension

Jayson Lovell will continue to serve as superintendent through 2024

Lacombe outdoor ice surfaces closed for the season

Pet owners are advised to keep their pets away from pond surfaces

Highlights of the Blackfalds regular council meeting – March 12, 2019

The next Regular Council Meeting will be on March 26th, 2018

WATCH: ‘Napalm Girl’ discusses journey from hatred to forgiveness in Lacombe

Burman University’s Herr Lecture Series welcomed Kim Phuc Phan Thi to Lacombe

Trudeau fills vacancy in cabinet with B.C. MP Joyce Murray

Murray, 64, was elected in 2008 and served previously as a minister in B.C.’s provincial government

Gunman kills 3 on Dutch tram; mayor says terror likely

Utrecht police release photo of 37-year-old man born in Turkey who is ‘associated with the incident’

Facebook announces changes to political advertising to meet new federal rules

Bill C-76 bans the use of money from foreign entities to conduct partisan campaigns

Travel expected to be slowed by fallout from fire at Toronto’s Pearson airport

All U.S.-bound flights from Terminal 1 were cancelled Sunday night after the fire broke out near a security checkpoint

Boston Bruins alumni team lends helping hand to raise money for two Red Deer charities

Fundraising goal for Sunday’s game between Bruins alumni team and Red Deer Community HOPE Stars is $60,000

UBC study shows honey bees can help monitor pollution in cities

Scientists analyzed beehives in high density urban areas to those off on Galiano Island

Most Read