Scammers Victimize Immigrants Posing as CRA
Police in Edmonton are warning of scammers who have their sights set on one Canada’s most vulnerable groups: new immigrants.
One couple paid $34,400 to the fraudsters, who are believed to be operating out of Ontario, but Edmonton police did not have much other information at the time of writing.
Fraudsters say they are calling from Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), Canadian Security Intelligence Service, or Immigration Canada, and are demanding money owed to the Canadian Government, claiming that the immigrants have not filed their taxes properly or have not registered as “alien” immigrants.
The calls are frightening: scammers threaten their potential victims with fines, jail time and deportation. In order to remedy their situations, the vulnerable immigrants are told by the scammers to purchase prepaid Visa cards and immediately provide the associated information to them.
“For people that made Canada their home recently, they don’t want to go back into that situation where they came from,” said Detective Mo Banga of the Edmonton Police Service. This, coupled with language and cultural differences, makes this group extra susceptible.
The remedy: don’t give callers any information over the phone. Rather, call the police and report the activity immediately. CRA, as outlined on its website, does not do the following:
· Never requests, by email, personal information of any kind from a taxpayer.
· Never requests information from a taxpayer about a passport, health card, or driver’s license.
· Will not divulge taxpayer information to another person unless formal authorization is provided by the taxpayer.
· Will not leave any personal information on an answering machine.