Scammers aren’t taking any time off during the COVID-19 pandemic.
RCMP Cpl. Mike Rail said as tax season approaches, people should be mindful of criminals posing as Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) employees. A common fraud follows a pattern where a person is contacted unexpectedly and told they are behind on their income taxes; they are then aggressively pressured to give their credit information to cover the bill, he added.
“It is not a crime to hang up the phone,” Rail said, later adding: “If contacted, we urge you to pause a moment, hang up the phone and speak to a family member or friend before responding.”
Police said CRA officials will never request personal information over the phone or email, and do not threaten clients with court charges, jail or deportation. And they never demand payment by prepaid credit card, Rail added.
The best way to confirm whether you have been legitimately contacted by the Canada Revenue Agency is to call the CRA directly at 1-800-959-8282 for individual concerns or 1-800-959-5525 for business-related issues.
For more information go to www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca.