Saanich residents bilked for thousands of dollars

Police warning residents of scam involving callers claiming to represent Canada Revenue Agency

  • May. 14, 2016 7:00 a.m.

Saanich Police are advising residents to be aware of another scam that has recently resurfaced in the area.

Over the past several weeks Saanich Police have received numerous reports of residents being contacted by people claiming to represent the Canada Revenue Agency. Police report at least two local victims have lost thousands of dollars.

Police report the fraudsters contacted the victims by phone and informed the victim they owed the government money.  The caller then threatened the victim with court action or being thrown in jail if they didn’t pay immediately.  The victims were directed to purchase iTunes gift cards in the amount they “owed”.  In one case the victim lost close to $10,000 and in the other the victim lost $3,000.

“We want to remind the public to remain vigilant and to know the Canada Revenue Agency will never ask you to pay an outstanding debt in iTunes cards or other gift cards.” said acting Sgt. Jereme Leslie.  “The CRA will contact you, via registered mail, if you owe an outstanding debt and they’ll never call and threaten you.”

When in doubt call the Canada Revenue Agency or report the suspicious activity to police.  Saanich Police also encourage you to have conversations with family and friends who may be more vulnerable to these types of scams.

For a list of common scams you can visit the Saanich Police website at www.saanichpolice.ca or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at www.antifraudcentre.ca.