Guess who got a call this week from one of those Canada Revenue scammers? One of them left a message on the phone at the OPP detachment in Orillia. The officer who called back had a barrage of questions for those who answered, leaving them so frustrated they hung up. It’s not the first time this has happened. Another scammer called the detachment last fall, obviously unaware it was a police station, and rhyming off threats about the terrible things that would happen if money was sent immediately.
With tax season on the horizon, Orillia OPP will be receiving more of these calls from citizens who have been contacted and in some cases, have lost money. If you are contacted over the phone by someone saying they are the Canada Revenue Agency here are some tips taken right from the CRA website:
- 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 that I know who is requesting the information?
If you receive a call, e-mail or letter and know it’s a scam please hang up, delete the e-mail or shred the letter.
If you have been the victim of a fraud no matter how small please contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or find them on-line www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca
If you have information about suspected unlawful activity, please contact the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or visit Crime Stoppers at: www.crimestopperssdm.com or call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).