As RCMP recognizes March as Fraud awareness month, and the fact that Canadians are locked into preparing their taxes, police would like to remind the public of the always problematic Canada Revenue Agency Scam.
RCMP said this scam involves an individual calling a person at home impersonating the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), claiming a recent audit has identified discrepancies from past filed taxes.
"The caller states that repayment is required immediately," the media release said.
"The caller will often threaten that failure to pay will result in additional fees and/or jail time or deportation. The caller then requests payment by a money service business or pre-paid cards / gift cards (iTunes)."
RCMP said the second part of this scam involves consumers receiving an email indicating a refund is pending from the CRA. The email includes a link that directs consumers to a website that mimics the actual CRA.
"Consumers are told to input personal information before receiving the refund (email money transfer). Victims that input their information, including Social Insurance Number (SIN), Date of Birth (DOB), banking information, are subject to identity fraud. No refund is ever issued."
Here are some tips on how to protect against this type of scam:
- The CRA will only use only registered mail to contact consumers and will never use email or contact you by phone.
- If in doubt, contact the CRA to confirm you owe back taxes or are entitled to a refund at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/cntct/menu-eng.html
- Never provide personal information to anyone over the phone. Ask who is calling, document information and do your homework.
- The CRA would never request payment by money service business or iTunes gift cards.
- For more information about fraud scams involving the CRA, visit Protect yourself against fraud.
- If you've shared personal information, contact Equifax and Trans Union to place fraud alerts on your account.
- If you've mistakenly shared banking information, contact your financial institution to place alerts on your account.
- If you receive a phone call or email from someone claiming to represent the CRA, it is a scam. Simply hang up on the call and if it is an email, delete it. If you were tricked into providing personal information, contact your local police agency. Otherwise , report the incident the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre at http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/reportincident-signalerincident/index-eng.htm
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre does not conduct investigations but provides valuable assistance to law enforcement agencies all over the world by identifying connections among seemingly unrelated cases.