Cranbrook RCMP have received a very high number of reports in the last week of fraudsters posing as Canada Revenue Agency investigators. In most instances, the fraudsters are making contact via telephone and advising the victim that they are in arrears with their income tax and that they are required to immediately make payment or face arrest by the Police. The fraudsters are asking that payment be made with pre-paid Visa cards or direct deposit into a bank account.
The fraudsters will typically use high pressure tactics and may call back if the intended victim hangs up on them. In some instances the fraudster has called back with 9-1-1 appearing on the victims call display. A man claiming to be a constable with the RCMP reassures the victim that the call was legitimate and that the victim needs to complete the process to avoid being arrested.
“This scam has been very prevalent in several British Columbia communities in the past several weeks” advises S/Sgt. Dubnyk. “This is not a standard operating procedure for Police and Canada Revenue Agency. The Police do not deal with income tax issues” Dubnyk added.
The Canada Revenue Agency has very specific procedures to communicate with tax payers. The Public are encouraged to view these procedures at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/nwsrm/lrts/2014/l140307-eng.html.
For more information on frauds and scams, how to recognize them and how to report them, go to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website at www.antifraudcentre.ca.