Sooke PocketNews received a phone call from a reader, C.M., who wanted to warn us 642 Sooke numbers targeted by scammers posing as CRA collection agents.
This Sooke resident was contacted by phone by someone claiming to be with the CRA. The caller, who spoke with an East Indian accent, said that C.M. owed money to the CRA, and that an arrest warrant would be issued. The phone number that appeared on the display was 844-240-3116.
A quick Internet search shows that this number is the source of this particular scam.
“Complete scam, they wanted you to make a deposit to pay for any outstanding CRA claim and to do so immediately. They provided an account number for you to make a deposit. The TD account is legit, however it was not CRA. It was Basil Richard, TD account number 10292 6495192 004. TD may be putting a freeze on the account for fraudulent activities. Reported to police and they were appreciative of the account number.”
Quote from WhoCallsMe.com
Visit here for details.
The CRA has a web page that address these types of calls. In it, the CRA notes that they:
- never requests prepaid credit cards;
- never asks for information about your passport, health card, or driver’s licence;
- never shares your taxpayer information with another person, unless you have provided the appropriate authorization; and
- never leaves personal information on your answering machine or asks you to leave a message containing your personal information on an answering machine.
When in doubt, ask yourself the following:
- Is there a reason that the CRA may be calling? Do I have a tax balance outstanding?
- Is the requester asking for information I would not include with my tax return?
- Is the requester asking for information I know the CRA already has on file for me?
- How did the requester get my email address or telephone number?
- Am I confident I know who is asking for the information?
The CRA has strong practices to protect the confidentiality of taxpayer information. If you get a phone call like this, you are advised to hang up.
These types of communication are not from the CRA. When the CRA calls you, it has established procedures in place to make sure your personal information is protected. If you want to confirm the authenticity of a CRA telephone number, call the CRA by using the numbers on its Telephone numbers page. The number for business-related calls is 1-800-959-5525. The number for calls about individual concerns is 1-800-959-8281.
According to an RCMP alert issued from Halifax on the same scam, “the RCMP remind citizens that if you receive a suspicious email or telephone call, hang up and please report it immediately to the Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.” C.M. noted that dialing that number was met with answering machines, and not a live person.[sam id=”15″ codes=”true”]After pressing 1, this is what SPN got when we called:
- Their mandate
- A message on “spoofing”
- Call the police, as the Anti-Fraud Centre does not investigate complaints
- Another menu of the nature of your experience. Presumably, this would ultimately result in a human contact as we were then forewarned that all conversations would be recorded for quality purposes.
Instead, C.M. opted to pass the message along using local media.
Help spread the word! It’s a frightening experience being informed of a sudden debt and of your pending arrest, and the best coping mechanism is being informed.
Thank you to C.M. for bringing this to our attention, and for being a part of the solution!
-Britt Santowski, SPN
- CRA Scam alert web page
- Consumer Protection article on Phishing scams
- RCMP alert (Halifax alert, but Canada-wide relevance)