RCMP members of Greater Toronto Area (GTA) Financial Crime Section, Toronto West Detachment, in Milton, Ontario, have arrested and charged another individual in connection to transnational telephone scams, including the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) telephone scam, the Bank Investigator scam, and the Tech support scam.
In October of 2018, the RCMP GTA Financial Crime section commenced an investigation, named Project OCTAVIA. The focus of the investigation was to combat the CRA telephone tax scam and other interrelated scams through public awareness, disruption, and enforcement. These telephone scammers are operating out of India, have been targeting the Canadian public since 2014, and despite a number of police raids on illegal call centres in India, these scams continue to victimize Canadians.
Cumulatively between 2014 and 2019, the CRA scam has resulted alone in reported victim losses totaling over $17 million, and including the Bank Investigator and Tech Support scams, total reported victim losses are over $31 million dollars. During this investigation, RCMP investigators uncovered “money mules /money mule managers” operating in Canada, who assist with laundering the proceeds of these scams.
Charged is Jatin Chahal, 21, of Brampton, Ontario with:
• Fraud over $5,000
• Possession of proceeds of crime
• Laundering of the proceeds of crime
Chahal was released on an undertaking and is scheduled to appear in court in Brampton on September 25.
The Project OCTAVIA investigation is continuing and further arrests are anticipated.
“Money mules, while at the lower end of the hierarchy, are a crucial component of this criminal organization. They are conduits that facilitate the flow of victims’ funds to the members of the criminal organization. Absent their involvement, the illicit funds would not succeed in reaching the pockets of the criminal minds behind the operation,” said Staff-Sgt. Ken Derakhshan, acting Officer in Charge of the GTA Financial Crime Section at (TWD) in Milton. “Arrests such as these send an important message that money mules will be subject to investigation and potentially face criminal charges if they choose to further the unlawful goals of these criminal enterprises. “
If someone on the phone is asking for your personal or banking information, hang up and report the activity to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. If the caller is threatening you or your family, hang up and contact your local police. If you receive an e-mail or text message making suspicious tax claims and urging you to click on a link to submit information, don’t interact and report the occurrence to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, through its website at www.antifraudcentre.ca, or by telephone at 1-888-495-8501.