James Langton |of a reporter for Investment Executive reported on June 10, 2015 that
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is warning taxpayers about an apparent increase in telephone scams, using increasingly aggressive tactics. There has been an increase in scams involving telephone calls where the caller claims to be from the CRA, but is not, the agency reports. These calls are fraudulent and could result in identity theft, or financial losses, it warns.“Some recent telephone scams involve threatening taxpayers or using aggressive and forceful language to scare them into paying fictitious debt to the CRA,” the agency says.
In these scams, the perpetrator claiming to work for the CRA tells prospective victims that they owe taxes, and they request immediate payment by credit card, or convince the victims to purchase a prepaid credit card and to call back immediately with the information.
“The taxpayer is often threatened with court charges, jail or deportation,” the CRA says.
Taxpayers should be beware of these sorts of calls, the agency says, and report them to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center Toll Free 1-888-495-8501 or go to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center and report it on line.
The CRA never requests prepaid credit cards, never asks for information about passports, health cards, or driver’s licenses, and never leaves personal information on an answering machine, or asks taxpayers to leave a message containing personal information, the agency stresses.
Various news agencies and newspapers are reporting Police have charged a 20-year-old man in connection with a telephone scam. Police allege that a group of suspects made unsolicited calls to random people purporting to be from the Canada Revenue Agency.
As part of the alleged scam, police say the recipients of the calls were told that they owed the CRA income tax and were threatened with imprisonment should they fail to pay immediately. Once the recipients agreed to pay, police allege that they were instructed to send money to the suspects using a direct bank transfer. Abhi Thakkar, 20, of no fixed address, was arrested on Jan. 25 and charged with nine offenses, including fraud over $5,000 and three counts of fraud under $5,000. Police say that they are aware of victims in Alberta and Ontario and believe there could be more victims spread across Canada. Anyone who has transferred money to Thakkar is asked to contact police at 43 Division at (416) 808-4300.
The simple way to avoid scams is to simply ask the caller to provide the request in writing in which should contain your Social Insurance Number. If you get such a written request, with your SIN number, contact CRA and ask for a verification of the request and verify the person who sent you the letter. If the request is legitimate, These measures will validate the legitimacy of the request. In all likelihood you will never hear from the caller.
What is even more disconcerting is the fact that the latest annual report of the Security Intelligence Review Committee, which monitors CSIS’s (Our very own Secret Service) compliance with law and policy, indicated that CSIS obtained taxpayer information from the CRA (Canada Revenue Agency), without a properly approved warrant. It wasn’t clear how the information was obtained, with or without the knowledge of CRA. Is this just another form of scam or a legitimate mistake? ~