Victoria man loses $11,000 to CRA scam

Scammer claims to be VicPD officer on the phone

CRA scammers took a Victoria man for more than $11,000, prompting investigators to warn the public that the scam remains alive and well. Despite the heavy loss, it could have been worse, as quick-thinking bank staff recognized a fraud was occurring when the scammers pressed their victim for even more, says Victoria Police Department.

In the evening of March 28 the victim was contacted by fraudsters who claim to be representatives of the Canada Revenue Agency. In CRA scams, the thieves claim that the potential victim owes taxes to the Canada Revenue Agency. They often claim a judgment has been rendered against the potential victim, a warrant issued and officers making their way to the victim’s home to take him or her into custody.

In this case, the scammer sent the Victoria man to a Bitcoin automatic teller machine at a business in the 100-block of Gorge Road East to make a series of transfers. They claimed the transfers would cover his arrears amount and a deposit to appear in court. The man lost over $11,000.

“These scammers were working as a team, and the victim was called back by a different fraudster who claimed to be a VicPD officer,” VicPD said in a release. “This fraudster directed the victim to attend a bank branch for additional funds and demanded to remain on the phone with the victim as he made the transaction. Luckily, the teller at the bank branch recognized that a fraud was taking place and intervened. When confronted by the teller, the scammer hung up.”

The victim is unlikely to recoup any funds.

The Canada Revenue Agency rarely, if ever, telephones. Most often, Canada Revenue Agency contact is initiated through letters. The Canada Revenue Agency also does not take payment by Bitcoin. Previous iterations of the scam have seen victims pay in iTunes cards, gift cards and cash-backed credit cards.

For more information on Canada Revenue Agency and other scams, please visit vicpd.ca/fraud.


 

cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com

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