The Canada Revenue Agency scam is once again making the rounds in the Cowichan Valley.
North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP say that for several weeks, they have received as many as 40 complaints per day from citizens reporting they are getting threatening calls from an individual purporting to be a CRA agent. The scammer makes repeated calls to the same victim, with the threats escalating each time.
The fake CRA agent threatens to launch a lawsuit against the taxpayer if they don’t send money the CRA says it is owed. The scammers may also ask citizens to purchase iTunes cards, with an officer later coming by to pick them up.
Cpl. Krista Hobday, spokeswoman for the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP, said one such citizen was on their way to purchase $3,600 in iTunes cards when they thought they would stop in at the detachment to ask about the plan’s legitimacy.
“Our front-desk employee called the scammer and posed as the citizen’s husband. He asked the scammer to provide the victim’s SIN and was told that the RCMP would be sent to the citizen’s residence,” said Hobday. “Well of course in this scenario we had the last laugh when our employee identified himself as representing the RCMP. The scammer quickly hung up.”
Hobday said police hope the average taxpayer knows the CRA would never call them and act in this manner and they don’t resolve their debts owed to them by way of a lawsuit or iTunes cards.
“If you receive a call from someone claiming to represent the CRA and informing you that you owe money, it is recommended that you hang up and call your local CRA office and speak to a representative,” she said.
If you are the victim of a scam and have lost money as a result, report it to your local RCMP. To report a scame, visit www.antifraudcentre.ca or call 1-888-495-8501.