A well publicized telephone scam where the caller claims to be from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is still making its way through Castlegar and the rest of the country. Local residents reported being contacted by the scammers this week.
The script the scammers use claims you owe money to the CRA, your SIN number has been flagged and an arrest warrant will be issued.
A man with a south asian accent called and left the following message at one Castlegar home, “This is (name) from the criminal investigation division from CRA, Canada Revenue Agency. This call is to inform you about the warrant which has been issued to arrest you from your physical address because of your income tax fraud. There is a red flag issued on your social insurance number by the CRA. So call us back as soon as possible with your criminal attorney’s name and number before CRA imposes a tax lien on your name. Again call the direct division number which is 450-977-5706.”
CRA has been warning citizens about this scam for several months. They recommend that if you are called, you hang up and call the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.
The CRA has issued the following recommendations on its website:
• never requests prepaid credit cards;
• never asks for information about your passport, health card, or driver’s licence;
• never shares your taxpayer information with another person, unless you have provided the appropriate authorization; and
• never leaves personal information on your answering machine or asks you to leave a message containing your personal information on an answering machine.
When in doubt, ask yourself the following:
• Is there a reason that the CRA may be calling? Do I have a tax balance outstanding?
• Is the requester asking for information I would not include with my tax return?
• Is the requester asking for information I know the CRA already has on file for me?
• How did the requester get my email address or telephone number?
• Am I confident I know who is asking for the information?