A scam that has been making the rounds across Canada in recent months – threatening citizens with criminal proceedings unless they pay an outstanding tax bill – has been keeping White Rock RCMP busy of late.
“We’re getting multiple files every day,” Sgt. Joel Glen said Friday, referring to reports fielded in the past month of calls purportedly coming from Canada Revenue Agency.
“(Residents are) calling us every day because they think they’re in trouble. We’ve had days where we’ve had over 10 (reports) in one day. Everybody in White Rock’s being hit right now.”
The scam involves callers identifying themselves as CRA officials, and threatening criminal proceedings or “legal consequences” if the victim does not act quickly.
Typically, the caller is looking for personal and/or banking information.
Glen said he is not aware of any locals who have lost money to the scam, however, one man who was targeted believed he was in trouble and showed up to the detachment to turn himself in.
Glen said the perpetrators are aggressive, and he cautioned against giving any weight to such calls.
“People calling claiming to be from government agencies, it’s almost always a scam because that’s not the way they operate,” he said.
According to information on the CRA’s website, the agency recommends vigilance, and to never respond to any communications in which the caller wants personal information such as a social insurance number, credit card details, bank account number or passport number.
“These scams may insist that this personal information is needed so that the taxpayer can receive a refund or a benefit payment,” states information on the agency’s website. “Cases of fraudulent communication could also involve threatening or coercive language to scare individuals into paying fictitious debt to the CRA.
“These are scams and taxpayers should never respond to these fraudulent communications or click on any of the links provided.”
Glen suspects the number of fraudulent calls to White Rock residents is far higher than what is being reported to the detachment.
For more information, visit www.cra-arc.gc.ca