Ontario man charged in connection with infamous CRA telephone scam, RCMP says
The RCMP announced another arrest on Dec. 23 in connection with a series of phone scams that target Canadians. (Photo: Pexels)
TORONTO -- A 25-year-old Ontario man is facing charges in connection with a series of transnational phone frauds, including the infamous Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) phone scam.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) arrested a Brampton man as part of Project OCTAVIA, which was launched in Oct. 2018 to combat telephone fraudsters that are targeting Canadians.
"These telephone fraudsters, operating from overseas, have been targeting the Canadian public since 2014," the RCMP said in a news release on Wednesday. "Despite a number of police raids on illegal call centres in India, and arrests in Canada, these fraudsters continue to modify their deceitful pitch and target Canadians."
The RCMP said that to date, 10 people have been charged in connection with the investigation.
Cumulatively between 2014 and 2020, the CRA scam alone has resulted in Canadians losing more than $18.5 million, the RCMP said.
In the CRA phone scam, callers from India impersonate CRA, RCMP, or other federal agents in order to intimidate victims into paying non-existent fines or taxes.
The RCMP said that as of Oct. 1, between the CRA scam, the bank investigator scam and tech support scam more than $34 million has been stolen from Canadians.
The RCMP said through their investigation they have uncovered money managers who help launder the stolen money within Canada and overseas.
The latest arrest was announced on Wednesday.
Abhinav Bector has been charged with fraud over $5,000, possession of proceeds of crime and laundering of the proceeds of crime in connection with the investigation, police said.
None of the allegations have been proven in court.
Earlier this month, Mississauga, Ont. man Thomas Pao was also charged in connection with the investigation. RCMP said a Canada-wide arrest warrant has been issued for Pao, who is currently believed to be in China.
"Fraudsters need to take heed and realize there are consequences to their unlawful activities: criminal charges and prosecution in a court of law," RCMP Sgt. Ken Derakshan said in a statement. "Fraud and money laundering cause devastating financial and psychological consequences to their victims."
The RCMP is reminding people that if someone on the phone asks for personal or banking information to hang up and report the activity to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
With files from CTV News' Jackie Dunham