Residents are urged to keep their personal information safe. Another Canadian Revenue Agency scam is making its rounds in the region, asking those who have received the text-message to click a suspicious link.
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre says that tax scams can involve two kinds of variations. The first involves fraudsters calling consumers impersonating the Canadian Revenue Agency claiming that a recent audit has identified discrepancies from past filed taxes, and that repayment is required immediately.
The second involves consumers receiving an email indicating that a refund is pending from the CRA. The email includes a link that directs consumers to a website that mimics that actual CRA. Consumers are urged to input their information before receiving the refund. No refund is ever issued.
The OPP say that in 2017 across the province, the popular Canadian Revenue Agency scam claimed 1,544 victims – costing over 8,576 Ontarians a total of $3 million. Police add that only 5 per cent of the fraud crimes are reported.
Throughout 2017, local OPP officers reported 89 cases of fraud in the Kenora area, up 78 per cent when compared to 2016. There were only 50 cases of fraud reported in 2016. In January 2018, fraud cases rose by 166 per cent compared to January 2017, although only five more fraud crimes were committed in January 2018.
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre offered some safety tips to residents, to help avoid being scammed.
- The CRA will never ask for personal information through an email or text message or by clicking on a link,
- The CRA will never request payment by prepaid credit cards or iTunes gift cards, and it does not send emails containing details of a tax refund or Interac e-transfer payments,
- The CRA advises Canadians to confirm the status of their tax accounts before taking any action that may be the result of pressure from suspicious calls or emails, and to verify the legitimacy of the communication by contacting the CRA directly at 1-800-959-8281.
PhoneBusters is the Canadian Anti-Fraud Call Centre, managed by the OPP, RCMP and the Competition Bureau Canada. PhoneBusters can be reached at 1-888-495-8501.
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Fraud rising in the region