The Regina Police Service is once again warning Regina residents about the risks of giving personal or financial information over the phone. The RPS Communications Centre has received approximately 20 calls in the past two days from concerned citizens, reporting they’ve received phone calls from persons claiming to work for the CRA, or Canada Revenue Agency.
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 most recent reports in Regina, the caller typically says that the recipient is under investigation and he or she must cooperate or his/her Social Insurance Number will be 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 provides a recording of an actual scam call to educate the public about the tone, information and language used.
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/