Police advise public to continue being vigilant about CRA / Immigration scams

INVESTIGATORS from the Peel Regional Police Fraud Bureau are advising the public that citizens are still receiving sporadic calls with regards to the Canada Revenue Agency / Immigration scams.  Police are urging citizens to continue to be vigilant of suspicious phone calls.

Police continue to receive reports from residents who have received phone calls from persons posing as government officials from various federal agencies such as Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), Service Canada and Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The callers will indicate that a tax audit has been conducted and outstanding taxes are owed or, in the case of Immigration, that there are outstanding fees due to incorrect information provided on their application.  In both cases the caller makes threats to the victim that a warrant for their arrest is outstanding and will be executed if payment is not made immediately.

The caller will go on to provide very specific payment instructions, which may involve making Western Union or Money Gram transfers, sending bank transfers, buying prepaid credit cards, iTunes or STEAM cards in order to make a payment.  In some incidents, taxis have been sent to the victim’s residence to facilitate taking them to Western Union or a financial institution. Victims have also been directed to wire funds overseas.

If any person living in the city of Brampton or Mississauga has been defrauded of money in this way, they are encouraged to report the incident through their local Peel Regional Police division.

How to protect yourself:

  • Canadian government officials WILL NOT contact you directly and demand money in exchange for securing your Canadian Status.
  • The Canadian government DOES NOT accept payments via Western Union, Money Gram, Prepaid Credit Cards,  iTunes or STEAM cards and would never ask you to wire such payments to a foreign country.
  • DO NOT take immediate action. VERIFY that what you are being told is the truth.
  • Beware of Caller ID spoofing as fraudsters can manipulate call displays or provide real government agency contact numbers in order to appear legitimate.
  • If you wish to verify information do not contact back on any number provided by the caller.  Use phone numbers provided on the Government of Canada’s official website only.

The Crime Prevention Bureau will provide valuable tips and suggestions via the Crime Prevention twitter account @PeelCrimePrev.

To learn more about this type of scam and other fraud scams currently affecting Canadians, visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website at www.antifraudcentre.ca