This a message to all Canadians not just those who reside in Vernon so please take this seriously and share it!!
One Vernon resident learned the hard way after losing $11,000 to a tax scam. The incident unfolded on January 18, 2018, when the victim received an email and phone call from an alleged employee of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
The caller told the victim he owed the CRA $11,000 in unpaid taxes and if not paid immediately he would go to jail. He was threatened that the police would show up at his residence if he hung up or did not pay the money.
The victim was directed to make the payment that day by using a Bitcoin terminal. A transfer of $11,000 was made by the victim to a Bitcoin reference number supplied by the fraudster. After the transfer was made, the victim realized he had been scammed and headed to his local police detachment for assistance.
Unfortunately, the victim realized he was being scammed a little too late and police were not able to assist in the retrieval of his funds. Tax season is upon us and there has been a significant increase in these types of scams. The scam artists will gain your confidence, leading you to believe that you will be penalized by police if the money is not paid immediately. Adds Brett.
The CRA will NOT contact you by phone or email and threaten or coerce you into paying a tax bill. The CRA does not accept Bitcoin or any form of gift card as a method of payment.
The Vernon North Okanagan RCMP is asking that this message be made viral. If each person shared this message with five friends or family via text or social media, then we could better educate the public of scams such as this.
Multiple RCMP releases have warned public in the past about the CRA / Bitcoin scam, however we are still seeing a significant increase where people are being victimized.
The CRA will NOT request personal information of any kind by email. They will NOT divulge any of your information of any kind to another unless formal authorization is provided by you. The CRA will NOT leave any personal information on an answering machine. There is other important information on the Canada Revenue Agency website that you as a taxpayer should know.
One story in particular still receives quite a bit of attention on PJXM and was shared over 7 thousand times to warn people of another CRA scam that surfaced in 2016. In that story scammers called the victim at home and threatened to blow up their house if payment wasn’t received on time. Click the highlighted link in this paragraph to read more on that scam.
If you want to confirm that a CRA representative has contacted you, call the CRA at 1-800-959-8281 for individual concerns or 1-800-959-5525 for business-related calls.
For more information on fraud prevention, please visit the BC RCMP Website or Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website.