The Medicine Hat Police Service has received numerous complaints over the past several days from people reporting a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) scam.
There have been two types of calls that have been trending in Medicine Hat recently:
The caller will identify themselves as being from the CRA and accuse the person of owing money and will also make threats to have the person arrested and charged.
The scammer will direct the person to purchase iTunes gift cards or other type of gift card to pay off their debt and instruct them to call back with the card codes. The cards will then be used by the scammer to sell on the black market.
The caller will identify themselves as a police officers and advise the victim that their Social Insurance Number (SIN) has been compromised, and request that the victim confirm their SIN over the phone.
To protect against these common frauds, it is important to remain vigilant and NEVER provide personal or financial information over the phone. Likewise, never comply with an unsolicited phone caller who demands payment in gift cards.
The CRA will never call and threaten to have you arrested for not paying your taxes.
The CRA will never ask for payment in the form of gift cards or prepaid credit cards.
If you are contacted and told you owe money, always confirm with the CRA directly. Look up the phone number online and do not use the call back number that the caller has provided. Do not trust your call display. It may say Police or ABC but in reality it is a scammer.
If your workplace sells gift cards, be on the lookout for potential victims and inform them about this scam. Victims may seem stressed and agitated and purchasing a large amount of gift cards.
If you or someone you know is a victim of the CRA scam or any other fraud contact the Medicine Hat Police Service at 403-529-8481 to report.
Due to the extremely high volume of fraudulent call attempts, if you have received a fraudulent call but are not a victim (meaning you have not shared your personal information, bank information, and have not made any payment) then there is no need to report or contact police
For more information about these and other common frauds and scams visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca
S/Sgt Ryan Thorburn
Medicine Hat Police Service