If a heart attack didn’t keep Maple Bay’s Rose Marie Thompson down, a phone scammer sure as heck won’t either.
Thompson was resting at home on Friday, recovering from a cardiac arrest sustained just 10 days ago.
Her phone rang, and, as one tends to do, she answered it.
“A voice with an obvious accent, like that you get with these scam artists, announced that he was Jonathan Knight from Canada Revenue Agency and I was in so much trouble and they found all these irregularities and they were going to come and get me and I was in danger of all matter of things and in order to forestall this I would have to phone him right back at this number….”
Displeased that this stranger on the other end of the line would have the gall to say those things, she hung up on him. She knew it was a scam and wasn’t going to have it.
“I was so pissed off at this phone call that it wasn’t good for my heart, that I hung up before I took down the phone number,” Thompson said. “One thing I don’t need is any extra stress in my life.”
In June the Canada Revenue Agency acknowledged an increase in telephone scammers claiming to be from the CRA.
“Beware — these calls are fraudulent and could result in identity and financial theft,” said a CRA press release.
Aggressive and forceful language is often used to scare people into paying a fictitious debts to the CRA.
“Victims receive a phone call from a person claiming to work for the CRA and saying that taxes are owed. The caller requests immediate payment by credit card or convinces the victims to purchase a prepaid credit card and to call back immediately with the information. The taxpayer is often threatened with court charges, jail or deportation,” said the release.
The CRA will never ask for payment over the phone through the purchase of a prepaid credit card, nor will it ever request information about your passport, health card, or driver’s licence.
If in doubt, hang up. The CRA’s true phone numbers can be found online or in the phone book.
“If I could warn other people that this scam is happening right here in our Valley and it could save one person from being taken in by this SOB and his bunch, then I will feel that my life has not been in vain,” Thompson said. “Be on the lookout for this.”