Police warn of new twist in phone scam targeting Canadians
TORONTO -- Scammers have defrauded Canadians out of tens of millions of dollars over the past decade pretending to be collecting back taxes with the Canada Revenue Agency—but police are warning of a new twist on the old scam.
The scammers are pretending to be officers with local police forces, investigators said.
The thieves are also using caller ID spoofing so it looks like the call is coming from a police phone number.
Toronto Police Const. David Hopkinson said that officers do not collect taxes on behalf of the government.
“The Toronto Police isn't involved with the Canada Revenue Agency with regards to the collection of money and the Canada Revenue Agency does not collect money in this fashion,” he said. “Just because it says police there are ways to change the identification on the phone to say police.”
In the past few weeks, Toronto police say one victim gave the scammers $1,200 using a Bitcoin machine after he was told he would be deported if he didn’t pay.
A woman was told her Social Insurance Number was being used for fraudulent activity and she must immediately pay $1,000 or she would be arrested. She also paid in Bitcoin.
The Canada Revenue Agency will never call and use nasty language or threaten a customer. They will also never ask for credit card information, personal information by email or text, or request your social insurance number or ask for bank account information.
If you get a call that seems suspicious, do not engage the caller and just hang up.
“We need to get the message out so people aren't giving up their money to scammers on the phone," Hopkinson said.