The Regina Police Service is repeating its warning about the so-called “CRA Scam”. Yesterday: March 22, 2016, the Regina Police Service Communications Centre received 50 calls from concerned residents advising they had been contacted by someone claiming to work for the CRA, or Canada Revenue Agency. None of the callers became victims of this scam, but the volume of calls suggests that this scam is once again active in Regina and elsewhere.
The Canada Revenue Agency has issued its own warning about these phone and e-mail frauds: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/scrty/frdprvntn/menu-eng.html . In the typical calls received in Regina, the caller says that the recipient is under investigation and he or she must cooperate or his/her Social Insurance Number will be “flagged” or compromised. The caller’s aggressive manner causes the victim to stay on the phone, or call back. Then the conversation typically leads to the victim revealing personal identification information or financial information, or even agreeing to pay some fictitious debt. If the “pitch” comes by e-mail, the recipient is urged to respond or click on links provided in the e-mail. The Canada Revenue Agency advises that they do not conduct business in this way and invite people to contact them directly if they have questions about their own accounts. The CRA website also has a short video that may be helpful in explaining this scam and what people should do.
Scams like this are successful because people react out of fear and confusion. Always take the time to ask questions and then take more time to do an independent verification of the information you’ve received. To report the existence or recurrence of phone scams contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (1-888-495-8501) to make a report. Anyone who has been a victim of this type of scam, or any other, is asked to come in to the Front Desk of the Regina Police Service to make a report. More information about recognizing scams is available at http://www.reginapolice.ca/resources/crime/crime-prevention-tips/recognize-a-scam/