The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) scam has struck Strathcona County again.
On June 22, a woman received a phone call from a man pretending to be a police officer working for the CRA. The man said she owed the CRA money, to be paid through a prepaid Visa card. The woman purchased $5600 worth of prepaid cards and gave the information to the man over the phone.
Then on July 6, another woman picked up the phone to a similar call but this time, payment would only be received in the form of $3000 iTunes gift cards. The man said she would go to jail immediately in she didn't pay. She complied.
On Friday (August 11), a man received an email from what appeared to be the CRA saying a refund was available. He clicked on the link and gave his banking information and Social Insurance Number. He immediately realized it was a scam and contacted his bank. No money was lost.
Strathcona County RCMP are reminding the public of preventive measures to avoid financial scams:
- The CRA will not request payments by prepaid credit cards or iTunes gift cards.
- The CRA will not leave personal information on an answering machine.
- Never provide personal information through the internet or by email. The CRA does not ask you to provide personal information by email.
- Be careful before you click on links in any email you receive. Some criminals may be using a technique known as phishing to steal your personal information when you click on the link.
- Protect your social insurance number. Don’t use it as a piece of ID and never show it to anyone unless you are certain the person asking for it is legally entitled to that information.
- Shred unwanted documents or store them in a secure place. Make sure that documents with your name and SIN are secure.
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre has more information on scams online or by phone, toll-free, at 1 (888) 495-8501.
Anyone who believes they may be a victim of fraud or have given personal or financial information unwittingly, contact the Strathcona County RCMP at (780) 467-7741 or, contact a local detachment.