Watch out for scammers claiming to be with the Canada Revenue Agency

By David F. Rooney
Last month we published a story about a gang of crooks who were trying to scam people via e-mail by pretending to be officials from the Canada Revenue Agency. Well, we didn’t hear anything more about them until this week when at least one Revelstokian received a phone call from someone claiming to be from the CRA.
“CRA phones and says that you owe money and that they are just about ready to hand it over to the police,” Cathie Thacker told The Current on Tuesday, August 18.  “But, (they say) if you pay that won’t happen. You will have to cut a cheque and send it in.
“They phoned our home twice today and my husband spoke to them.  He took down the phone number and sure enough they answer as CRA.  He then called the police to report.”
That’s a brazen wrinkle on what was happening last month. That’s when some scam artists (maybe even the same bunch of goofs) sent out emails purporting to be from the CRA and asking you to click on a link letting you accept a $500 tax refund.
Here are a few words to the wise:

  • The Canada Revenue Agency does not call people up threatening to phone the cops if you don’t cough up a cheque right away;
  • The CRA does not use commercial e-mail transfers; it deposits cash directly into your account provided you are due a refund; and
  • It also does not use e-mail to initiate contact with citizens. If it needs to contact you it will do so via Canada Post — not Hotmail.

Please click here or more information about this and other kinds of scam.