BEWARE OF A VERY CONVINCING PHONE SCAM
PURPORTING TO BE CALLING FROM
THE CANADA REVENUE AGENCY
Mutual funds provided through FundEX Investments Inc.
Tel: 905-389-3534 Fax: 905-389-0345 Email: email@example.com
© 2016 Abbington Financial Group. Abbington is a registered trademark of Jeffrey Sindall, Abbington Financial Group.
Several of our clients have received a phone call from a person claiming to be from the
Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) stating there is a balance owing.
If you receive such a phone call then you are likely the target of a fraudulent scam!
This scam is widespread with many victims already. It is likely orchestrated by a group of people from outside Canada with professional experience in all of social media, banking, and telephone systems as well as persuasive tactics used by collection agencies.
Clients who contacted me have been very concerned and shaken by this experience. They each asked me to verify they had no balance owing to the CRA and then commented that they almost paid the fraudster – that's how convincing the caller was!
The Phone Call
Call display may indicate something similar to "CRA" or "Government" or "Canada" to fool the targeted person (call display can be spoofed). The caller sounds very professional and well-spoken yet aggressive. He has already done some research and knows the name, address and phone number of the targeted person and maybe some additional information which has been sourced online. Under the premise of verifying the identity of the target, he will ask the target questions to acquire additional information such as the target's birth date, Social Insurance Number, and bank account used for direct deposit. The caller may later use this information for identity theft. The caller states that a specific amount of income tax is owed to the CRA and then he proceeds to use persuasive "collection agency" tactics to convince the target to make payment. Tactics often include the caller stating that:
1. past attempts to notify the target by mail have already failed
2. the police will appear at the target's home or workplace if the amount is not paid today
3. the target better get a lawyer if the amount is not paid today
4. the target's employer will be notified and their wages garnished if the amount is not paid today
5. if a family member is notified they will be in trouble, too
6. the "immigration department" is involved (especially if the target has an accent)
The caller's tactics are very carefully designed to place the targeted person in an immediate state of worry, panic and risk of embarrassment.
Then the caller attempts to persuade the target to make immediate payment using either a) a credit card over the phone, b) the target's online banking, or c) by the target going to their own bank branch and transferring money into another account specified by the caller (the caller will even give the target a phone number to call while at the bank to receive instructions).
What Should You Do If You Receive This Phone Call?
Do not provide any information. The caller's objective is to keep you on the phone until they get what they want. Tell the caller that you are with other people and request the caller for a phone number to call them back. Be firm. Say that you "really must end the call" and then say "good-bye" and hang up. Do not be polite and do not listen anymore - simply hang up. Do not phone any number provided to you because the person who answers may attempt to fool you into thinking they are at the CRA and then continue with the scam!
Please report the phone call to the RCMP Anti-Fraud Centre by email at
www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca or by calling 1-888-495-8501.
There is no point in informing the CRA about the phone scam because
they already know and they have no mandate to pursue this matter.
If You Are Concerned
Our income tax clients may phone us to verify their account balance with the CRA.
You may phone the CRA General Enquiries at 1-800-959-8281 and press * (star key) to speak with a live agent to verify your account balance. Please have your most recently filed tax return on hand to verify your identity. If you have registered with the CRA for the "My Account" online service then you can log in to view your account status.
HELP PREVENT IDENTITY THEFT
You can place a “Fraud Warning” on your credit bureau files by phoning the automated systems of Canada’s two main credit bureaus:
Please have ready your SIN and a credit card (MasterCard or VISA, including the 3 digit security code on reverse). The cost is about $5.00 each. Allow 15 minutes for each call. Place your phone on mute during the call and use your keypad, taking the phone off mute only to answer certain questions (this will avoid background noise or coughing from interrupting and disconnecting your call). The fraud warning will be on your credit file for six years, so mark your calendar to renew it.
LEARN MORE: Go to the Canada Revenue Agency website: Protect Yourself Against Fraud
Please tell your family, relatives and friends about this phone scam so they know not to be fooled.