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Police Reporting - WRPS / OPP

Police advise to be aware of increase in CRA scams

Members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Greater Toronto Area Financial Crime Unit would like to further warn the public of the ongoing Telephone /Cyber fraud perpetrated by scammers claiming to be Canada Revenue Agency employees. 

The following is a realistic portrayal of a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) scam that has been seen by RCMP investigators. This approach is one of many used by fraudsters.

Imagine your 65-year old mother is sitting at her breakfast table, she lives alone, and is simply enjoying her breakfast when the phone rings…a call from the 613 area code (Ottawa):

CRA Scammer: Mrs. Smith?

Mrs. Smith: Yes, who is this?

CRA Scammer: This is David Jones of the Canadian Revenue Agency. You owe money on your taxes going back seven years.

Mrs. Smith: I don’t understand how that could be, I pay my taxes every year, I am a good person. I did not get any form of notification. Can you please tell me again what is wrong? I can barely understand what you are saying due to your very strong accent.

CRA Scammer: Do not play games with me, you owe the CRA $9,000. We sent you notification in the mail two months ago. As you never responded, we are going to have you arrested, we have a warrant for your arrest.

Mrs. Smith: This must be a mistake, I will call my daughter, and she will help clear this up.

CRA Scammer: (Now very agitated and yelling) NO! … you will call no one! You will tell no one! You are in a great deal of trouble and if you tell your daughter, she will be in trouble as well. You must pay the $9,000 now, or you will go direct to jail. Listen to my instructions, otherwise we will have a RCMP agent at your house to arrest you, DO YOU UNDERSTAND?

Mrs. Smith: Yes.

CRA Scammer: Get your SIN card, your driver’s license, your bank cards, and your cell phone, now, what is your cell number?

Mrs. Smith: I do not have a cell phone; can I call my daughter?

CRA Scammer: No! don’t call anyone, especially your daughter as she will be upset with you and you must deal with this now or you will be arrested.

CRA Scammer: You need to go to your bank right now and withdraw $9,000 from your account.

“Mrs. Smith” went to her bank, and withdrew the money. She told the teller that it was for some home renovations. Mrs. Smith returned home and was then told by the CRA scammer to send the cash to a specific address. The CRA scammer told Mrs. Smith to get a book or magazine, put money between the pages and secure the edges with tape. The book or magazine was to be wrapped in layers of newspaper and /or tinfoil and then placed in a box or envelope. The package was to be sent via courier to a specified recipient at a Canadian address. Mrs. Smith complied and sent the cash as directed.

A few days later, Mrs. Smith received a call from the CRA scammer to tell her that her payment had not been received and because it was late, she now owes $5,000 more. Mrs. Smith is told to go to her bank again and withdraw the $5,000. Fortunately, at the time of the call, Mrs. Smith’s daughter was present and knew that it was a scam and assisted her mother, preventing her from sending any more money to the CRA scammer.

This fraud is being perpetuated from coast-to-coast in Canada, and it has impacted victims from many different age groups and cultural backgrounds. The elderly are one of the many groups who are being targeted by these scammers. If you are reading this, we ask you to do your part in sharing this message to everyone and educating the seniors and family members in your life against this type of fraud.

If you or a family member has fallen victim to this fraud, please report to your local police service, or someone you trust, as well as the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC). You have two ways to make a report to the CAFC; either by phone at 1-888-495-8501 (9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Eastern Time) or through their online reporting tool.

MARCH 14

7:00 AM | Wellington County OPP responded to a report of break-in at a business in Fergus. An investigation revealed that a suspect gained entry into an eating establishment by smashing the glass door with a tire iron and stole more than $2,000 in cash. The suspect was last seen running eastbound on St. Andrew Street. The suspect is described as a Caucasian male wearing a black Under Armour hoodie with black Adidas track pants with reflective stripes on the bottom, black skater shoes and tan gloves. Any person with information regarding this incident should contact the Wellington County OPP at 1-888-310-1122. Should you wish to remain anonymous, you may call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or submit a tip on-line. You may be eligible for a reward from Crime Stoppers of up to $2,000.

 MARCH 15

4:00 PM | Wellington County OPP investigated the driver of a vehicle on Wellington Road 109 near Concession 7 for a Highway Traffic Act violation. During the course of the investigation, officers formed the opinion that the driver had consumed alcohol. A roadside screening device test was conducted that resulted in a fail. The driver was arrested and brought to a local OPP operations centre for further testing. A 60-year-old Fergus man was was charged with ‘impaired operation – 80-plus (mg of alcohol per 100 mL of blood) contrary to the Criminal Code. A 90-day licence suspension and seven-day vehicle impoundment were initiated as per statute. The accused is scheduled to appear in the Ontario Court of Justice – Guelph on April 17 to answer to the charge.

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