Area residents should be aware of a new phone scam whereby the caller threatens a family member will be arrested for tax fraud if their demands for money are not met.
A local resident reported Tuesday that she received a phone call from a man who claimed to be from the Canada Revenue Agency.
He said that there was an arrest warrant out for her husband and that police would be at her home in an hour to arrest him for tax fraud.
The caller wanted $5,400.
The caller claimed that if the woman hung up the phone, the police would come for her husband immediately.
The caller also claimed to have frozen the resident’s bank accounts.
He explained that the woman would have to get a cellphone, stay on the line with him, and go to the bank, where she would have to follow special instructions to make the transaction.
The $5,400 couldn’t be paid to the government, it would have to be wired directly to him.
The resident hung up on the scammer and reported the call to the OPP.
The Canada Revenue Agency issued a press release today warning Canadians to beware of telephone calls or e-mails that claim to be from the CRA but are not.
These are “phishing” and other fraudulent scams that could result in identity and financial theft.
Some recent telephone scams involve threatening or forceful language to scare you into paying fictitious debt to the CRA.
If you get such a call, hang up and report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
Some recent e-mail scams involve telling you that you are entitled to a refund of a specific amount, or telling you that your tax assessment has been verified and you are getting a tax refund.
These e-mails often have CRA logos or Internet links that look official, but some contain obvious grammar or spelling mistakes.
When it comes to suspicious phone calls, here’s advice from Phone Busters.
Don’t be pressured into giving information or money to anyone.
Ask yourself these questions—and if the answers give you some doubt about the caller’s intentions or methods, end the call:
•Who’s calling—and why?
Telemarketers must tell you it’s a sales call, the name of the seller, and what they’re selling before they make their pitch.
If they don’t, say “no thanks” and get off the phone.
•What’s their hurry?
Fast talkers who use high-pressure tactics could be hiding something.
Take your time. Most legitimate businesses will give you time and written information about an offer before asking you to commit to a purchase.
It’s all right to take your time and double check!
•If it’s free, why are they asking me to pay?
Questions or suspicions should arise if you need to pay to redeem a prize or gift.
Free is free. If you have to pay, it’s a purchase—not a prize or a gift.
•Why am I “confirming” my account information—or giving it out at all?
Some callers have your billing information before they call you. They’re trying to get you to say “okay” so they can claim you approved a charge.
Never give personal or credit information over the phone.
If you have further questions or concerns, call 1-888-495-8501.