Personal Investor: Mounties crack down on CRA tax scam
Canadians who have become all too familiar with those annoying phone scams claiming to be from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) can breathe a sigh of relief – at least for now.
The RCMP, along with authorities in India, have raided several call centres outside of New Delhi, where it is believed the calls have originated.
Investigators turned up lists of more than 600 Canadian victims but it’s uncertain if they will ever get any of their money back.
Indian authorities say the crackdown will continue, but more scam centres are believed to be operating across India. They usually begin with a robocall claiming to be from the CRA and telling the recipient that they owe taxes. If they don’t call back, they are threatened with arrest and imprisonment. Those who return the call are ordered to pay through bitcoin ATMs and gift cards.
Recipients are advised to never return the call. The Government of Canada offers these tips to avoid falling victim to phone or Internet scammers.
- Never provide personal information. The CRA does not ask you to provide personal information by phone or email.
- Keep your access codes, user ID, passwords, and PINs secret.
- If you are contacted by email, be careful before you click on links. 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 reveal it to anyone unless you are certain the person asking for it is legally entitled to that information.