Cranbrook RCMP are again reminding people to be wary of phone scams that have been on the rise lately.
Staff Sgt. Dave Dubnyk said that in the past week they have received quite a few reports of fraudsters posing as Canada Revenue Agency investigators.
Dubnyk said that in most the incidents, the fraudsters make contact over the phone and advise the victim that they are owing on their income tax and are required to make a payment immediately or face arrest by the police. The fraudsters then demand that payment be made with pre-paid Visa cards or direct deposit into a bank account.
“This scam has been very prevalent in several British Columbia communities in the past several weeks,” Dubnyk said. “This is not a standard operating procedure for police and Canada Revenue Agency. The police do not deal with income tax issues.”
He added that the fraudsters will typically use high pressure tactics and may call back if the intended victim hangs up on them. He said in some instances, the fraudsters have called back with 9-1-1 appearing on the victims call display. That call is usually a man fraudulently claiming to be a constable with the RCMP, who assures the victim that the call was legitimate and that the victim needs to complete the process to avoid being arrested.
The Canada Revenue Agency has specific procedures to communicate with tax payers, which can be viewed online 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.