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Police warn against falling into tax-time fraud

This, from Castlegar RCMP Cpl. Brett Turner, in response to recent complaints:

Every year, thousands of Canadians fall victim to fraud, losing millions of dollars. Most don't think it could happen to them, but fraudsters use sophisticated ways to target people of all ages. The impact of fraud on individuals, families and businesses can be devastating. Retirement savings, homes, businesses and, in some cases, lives have all been lost.

Recently, and well timed to the recent tax-filing season, people in the Castlegar area are reporting that they are receiving questionable emails from what appears to be the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).  These scams may insist that personal information is needed so that the taxpayer can receive a refund or a benefit payment. Cases of fraudulent communication could also involve threatening or coercive language to scare individuals into paying fictitious debt to the CRA. Other communications urge taxpayers to visit a fake CRA website where the taxpayer is then asked to verify their identity by entering personal information. These are scams and taxpayers should never respond to these fraudulent communications or click on any of the links provided.

The Canada Revenue Agency advises that they will never send an email with a link and ask you to divulge personal or financial information. They will never ask for personal information by email or text, or leave personal information on an answering machine.

What to do if you are a victim:

Step 1: Gather all information about the fraud. This includes documents, receipts, copies of emails and/or text messages.

Step 2: Report the incident to your local police. This ensures that they are aware of which scams are targeting their residents and businesses. Keep a log of all your calls and record all file or occurrence numbers.

Step 3: Contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

The Castlegar RCMP remind everyone to be vigilant and be aware of anything that appears too good to be true.