Fraudsters spoof the Mounties’ phone number to run the CRA scam


By David F. Rooney

Fraudsters have figured out a way to use the Revelstoke RCMP detachment’s non-emergency telephone number (250-837-5255) to contact local residents and run a scam on them. Here’s how it works:

“The caller advises that they are a police officer and that they have been in communication with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and that the subject owes money to the CRA,” Staff Sgt. Kurt Grabinsky, commander of the Revelstoke detachment, said in a statement issued on Monday, January 25. “The conversation leads to a threat that they will be arrested if they do not arrange immediate payment. They request a transfer of money.”

While the fraudsters’ brazen use of the detachment’s own telephone number is a new wrinkle, this particular scam is not new. Grabinsky said the CRA scam has been deployed by unscrupulous criminals in several communities and there are likely a number of variations. The objective is always to obtain money or personal information. Never, never provide personal information to such callers. If you receive a call that you think might be a fraud you can confirm your suspicions by checking the number they give you against a legitimate and published number from the phone book or another reputable source.

Even these criminals’ use of a legitimate phone number is not particularly new and fresh. In late 2014 scammers used the phone number registered to St. Peter’s Anglican Church to run a fraud against local people. Please click here; and here: to read The Current’s stories about that crime.

The Current has an audio file of a scammer making his pitch. (Please click here to read that story.) Please activate the audio player below to hear the fraudster in that October 2015 story:

And finally, the RCMP never call people up and threaten them with arrest on behalf of any federal or provincial agency. Nor do they demand money.

If you think you have received one of these bogus calls please contact the Revelstoke detachment at 250-837-5255 immediately.