OTTAWA: The Thunder Bay Police are once again getting a high number of calls from the public to report concerns about receiving calls from Revenue Canada about unpaid taxes that must be paid immediately or a warrant will be issue for arrest.
This sense of urgency should be the first clue and send up huge red flags that a fraudster is attempting to have money sent to them before individuals can really think about it. The way technology has opened up the world, it has allowed for these criminals to have access to anyone right in the comfort of their own home either by phone or over the internet.
In this particular fraud scenario, please be assured that the police will not be arresting for unpaid taxes. If anyone actually owes Canada Revenue money, a notice of payment will be sent. Police are encouraging citizens to simply hang up the phone. That is your right.
Here are some warning signs to keep in mind if you receive a similar type call:
1. Urgency – The scammer always makes the request sound very urgent, which may cause the victim to not verify the story.
2. Fear- The scammer plays on the victim’s emotions by generating a sense of fear.
3. Secrecy – The scammer informs the victim not to tell anyone about the situation.
4. Request for Money Transfer- Money is usually requested to be sent by a money transfer company such as Money Gram, Western Union or even through your own bank institution.
5. Request to purchase gift cards – Fraudster may suggest you purchase gift cards such as ITunes and Visa or MasterCard and then send them the number on the back as payment.
Only victims of an actual financial loss need to report to the police if they wish to do so. If citizens have not provided personal information or paid any money, a report of this harassing phone call to the police is not necessary. We are aware of these frauds. Complaints may be reported to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website is a great place to learn all about the frauds and scams that have been reported. Remember, knowledge is power. Being armed with the latest information will put citizens in a situation to deal with whatever may come their way.