Tax time means fraud time, police warn

(Screenshot: Peel Regional Police)
(Screenshot: Peel Regional Police)

Be extra vigilant during this tax season, say Peel Police.

March is fraud prevention month, and the fraud bureau is reminding residents to be aware of a Canada Revenue Agency-immigration scam.
Reports are continuing to come in from residents who have received suspicious phone calls from people posing as government officials from various agencies, such as Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Service Canada, and the CRA.
Callers are saying a tax audit has been conducted and outstanding taxes are owed, or in the case of immigration, there are outstanding fees due to incorrect information provided on their application.
In both cases, the caller threatens the victim, saying a warrant for their arrest is outstanding and will be executed if payment is not immediately processed.
The caller provides very specific payment instructions, which may involve making Western Union or Money Gram transfers, sending bank transfers, or buying prepaid credit cards in order to settle up.
In recent incidents, taxis have been sent to the victim’s home to facilitate taking them to Western Union or a financial institution.
Victims have also been directed to wire funds overseas.
Remember:
  • Canadian government officials won’t contact you directly and demand money in exchange for securing your status as a Canadian.
  • The federal government doesn’t accept payment via Western Union, Money Gram or prepaid credit cards and would never ask you to wire such payments to a foreign country.
  • Don’t take immediate action. Verify what you are being told.
  • Beware of caller ID spoofing, as fraudsters can manipulate call displays or provide real government agency contact numbers in order to appear legitimate.
  • If you wish to verify information, do not contact any number provided by the caller. Only use phone numbers provided on the Government of Canada’s official website.
To learn more about this type of scam and other fraud scams currently affecting Canadians, visit antifraudcentre.ca
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