Victoria police warn against Canada Revenue scam as tax season nears

Fraudsters have elicited $25,000 in 2018 alone in telephone racket

With just a few weeks until tax season hits, Victoria Police are warning the public that the Canada Revenue Agency scam is increasingly targeting the region.

By making unsolicited phone calls, the aggressive fraudsters give a familiar speech to unsuspecting people claiming the potential victim is facing legal action due to fraudulently misrepresenting their tax returns. Officers say the fraudsters claim police are on their way to arrest the potential victim, unless they pay a reduced fine.

Because many of the calls trace back to overseas locations, once paid, victims are often left with little recourse to recover lost funds. As a result of the scam losses reported to VicPD have totaled $25,000 in 2018 alone.

Financial crime investigators also report an increase in more spoofing of phone numbers where the victim divulged his accountant’s information and moments later got a call from fraudsters who claimed to be his accountant.

As fraudsters often prey on the elderly, investigators are asking that you speak with your older relatives and friends about this potential scam.

With the increase in popularity of Bitcoin, a form of cryptocurrency, it is important to remember that the Canada Revenue Agency does not accept this as payment because it is not a recognized currency.

Fraud Investigators remind everyone that the Canada Revenue Agency never contacts people over the phone to discuss fraud concerns, and never threatens arrest over the phone. If you have concerns after being contacted by someone claiming to be from the CRA, please contact the CRA yourself at 1-800-959-8281.

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com

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