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article imageRCMP warns of new income tax scam

By Arthur Weinreb     Jan 24, 2017 in Crime
The RCMP is warning Canadians about a new scam that is a twist on a previous one where fraudsters posed as employees of the Canada Revenue Agency. Scammers are now trying to re-victimize people who fell for the original fraud.
The original scam was fairly simple. Scammers would phone people and identify themselves as CRA employees. They would advise the recipient of the call they owed money for unpaid taxes. They would then threaten the police were on their way and unless an immediate payment was made the person would be arrested, usually in about 30 minutes. Sometimes they would threaten the person with deportation.
If the person agreed to pay, they were told where to forward the payment that would end up in an offshore account. Or they were persuaded to give their banking information so the scammers could just take the money out of their account. Sometimes the person was advised to provide gift cards as payment. A lot of people fearful of an imminent arrest fell for the con.
As Digital Journal reported last October, police in and around Mumbai, India made several arrests and about 600 people were investigated for running this scam. This put a huge damper in the well-organized scheme.
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But now there is a new twist to the scam that attempts to hit those who were victims of the original scheme. Some of those who had been previously victimized received an email from a sender pretending to be a CRA employee. The recipient is told they had fallen for the previous scam but after their backgrounds were verified, the CRA is willing to make a substantial payment to them. Of course, the intended victim of this con must pay a fee before they can receive the funds. The fee is set at five percent of the total amount of the payment and once that payment is made, the money will be forwarded in four instalments. Naturally, the instalments never come.
The email also states anyone who has any questions can call a member of senior management at the telephone number provided.
The RCMP advises anyone owing money for taxes will be sent a letter by the CRA. Although those who have received a letter might later be contacted by telephone, the CRA does not make cold-calls. And CRA employees do not threaten taxpayers with jail or deportation.
CRA employees do not ask taxpayers for personal banking information and do not accept payment in the form of prepaid credit cards, money grams, gift cards or similar methods of payment. People who are contacted about owing money are advised to call the CRA or go onto their website to determine if they owe money. If someone is not sure how to make these payments, they should make inquiries at a bank.
According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC), 23,455 complaints about this scam were made in 2016 and there have been about 40,000 complaints since 2014. More than 2,000 victims lost about $6.2 million since the original scam began in January 2014.
More about Rcmp, Canada revenue agency, Scam, income tax scam, Fraud
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