Police: CRA Scam Continues To Victimize Local Residents Recently With Bitcoin
Windsor Police are looking to make the public aware that the CRA Scam is circulating in our community again.
The scam usually involves the fraudster posing as a representative from the CRA and calling the victim over the phone. They advise that person owes money due to tax assessment or debt which is past due. In some cases the fraudster tells the victim that if they don’t pay the outstanding funds they will be arrested.
The caller directs the victim to pay the outstanding debt by sending a money gram, purchase a gift card and in some recent cases using Bitcoin. They have the victim provide the card information to them over the phone. There are also some reported incidents where the caller asked the victim to meet with them and make the payment.
In one recent case a victim advised that they responded to a phone message indicating that they owe back taxes and faced jail if not paid. The victim returned the call and the fraudster asked for the name of the company used to file taxes. While on the phone, they received a call from someone posing as a member of the company confirming the fraudsters claims. It is believed they ‘spoofed’ the number to appear as the victims income tax company. The fraudsters instilled a sense of fear in the victims and kept them on the phone for several hours. They were instructed to make withdrawals at a number of bank locations and send bitcoin. They were provided with a QR code which they brought to a Bitcoin machine and deposited $17,000 in total funds.
There has been several examples during the past month resulting in significant losses of $13,000, $5,000, $2,300. There has also been a number of other examples of frauds using the Bitcoin as currency.
Police stress that the CRA will NOT accept Bitcoin as payment for outstanding taxes or threaten to arrest you.
The Windsor Police Service would like to remind the public to be vigilant in identifying the CRA scam. It can take on many forms, such as, a phone call, email or text message. Although, most transactions occur over the phone or online, some have been known to meet in person for payment.
The CRA will not demand any cash payment in person or request payment by moneygram, gift cards, BITCOIN, etc. They will not escort you to your financial institution or attend your house and threaten to arrest you.
If you are in doubt call the CRA directly at 1-800-959-8281.