CALGARY – Police have issued a warning about a particularly aggressive scam in which fraudsters claim to be with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and the Calgary Police Service.
The warning was issued on Thursday after a man received a phone call earlier in the week from someone claiming to be with the CRA.
The scammer told the victim that he owed back taxes, and that warrants were out for his arrest. The victim was warned the warrants would be executed if he did not pay the outstanding taxes.
After hearing this, the victim went to a Canada Post outlet and sent an undisclosed amount of money through a wire service. He also gave the scammer his Social Insurance Number.
The victim soon realized he had been scammed and contacted police.
During the phone scam, the phony CRA representative told the victim one of the officers executing the warrant would be Staff Sergeant Kristie Verheul.
As it happens, Staff Sergeant Verheul is the name of a real officer who works in the Calgary Police Economic Crimes Unit. Police said at no time would Sgt. Verheul contact members of the public in this manner. It’s believed scammers obtained her name from previous warnings about the CRA scam in the media.
Anyone who has fallen victim to this scam is asked to call the police non-emergency line at 403-266-1234.
TIPS FOR AVOIDING SCAMS
Ignore calls that require you take immediate actionDo not feel pressure to respond to a request until you can verify the storyNever transfer money or give out credit card information until you have verification it’s legitimateNever give out personal information such as your SIN, bank account information or credit card numbersLook up published numbers for the CRA to ensure they matchDon’t believe what you see – business and agency logos are easily duplicatedBeware of “phishing” emails posing as the Canada Revenue Agency requesting personal informationWatch for poor spelling and grammarContact the person directly to legitimize the communication before you take any actionBe wary of emails containing links or attachments from unknown sendersUpdate your computer’s anti-virus software