With income tax deadlines approaching, B.C. RCMP issued a reminder that fraudsters are continuing to harass and intimidate B.C. residents, sometimes even leaving individuals feeling concerned for their safety.
According to B.C. RCMP, fake Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) representatives will attempt to glean as much personal information from the victim as possible.
They may use intimidation tactics, including threatening victims with arrest or seizure of assets if victims do not comply within a specific time frame.
B.C. RCMP offered the following tips:
Abuse or threats
CRA agents will never threaten anyone with immediate arrest, send police, or use abusive language. If there is anything suspicious or unprofessional about the call, police recommend hanging up immediately.
Do not click on any link that appears to be from the CRA.
The CRA will never ask anyone to click on a link to receive a refund or to collect personal or financial information.
The only time the CRA will send an email with links is if a taxpayer calls the CRA to ask for a specific form or link for information.
The CRA will never request immediate payment by virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, pre-paid credit cards, or pre-paid gift cards, such as iTunes or Home Depot.
Contact an agency or organization directly to verify if a phone call, email, or text message is legitimate.
Any text message from the CRA is a scam as the CRA never sends out text messages.
If you are unsure if a message is actually from the CRA, you can confirm your tax status online with the CRA through secure portals such as My Account or calling 1-800-959-8281.
If you are the target of a scam whether you paid money or not, file a report with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) free at 1-888-495-8501 or online.
Also report the scam to your local police.