Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) want you to confirm who you’re dealing with before sending any money anywhere for any reason. The Canadian Revenue Agency Scam (CRA) , continues to be prevalent in Grenville County. The OPP wants to remind the public to be aware of this scam and to use caution when dealing with on-line or phone requests from an individual or agency identifying itself as the CRA.
In the typical CRA scam, the criminals extort money from their victims by telephone, mail, text message or email, a fraudulent communication that claims to be from the Canada Revenue Agency requesting personal information such as a social insurance number, credit card number, bank account number, or passport number. A new twist is that Fraudsters will leave a pre-recorded, clear message on your voicemail impersonating the real CRA. Fraudsters are either phishing for your identification or asking that outstanding taxes be paid by a money service business or by pre-paid debit/credit cards. They may insist that this personal information is needed so that the taxpayer can receive a refund or a benefit payment. Cases of fraudulent communication could also involve threatening or coercive language to scare individuals into paying fictitious debt to the CRA. Other communications such as texting, urge taxpayers to visit a fake CRA website where the taxpayer is then asked to verify their identity by entering personal information. Before you respond to any type of communication, think first that this is a scam. Individuals should never respond to these fraudulent communications nor click on any of the links provided.
The CRA will never request by email, text or phone, any personal information such as passport, credit card or bank account information. To avoid becoming a victim, police advise you to hang up, check and verify the information with CRA by calling a trusted phone number in which you have found and not the number provided by the caller.
If you or someone you know suspect they’ve been a victim of the CRA scam, contact your local police service and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).