Police warn public about CRA scam

By CHAT News Today
September 1, 2017 - 11:26am

MEDICINE HAT, AB — The Medicine Hat Police Service is reminding the public to be aware and use caution after a popular scam has once again emerged in the city.

In recent days, police say they have received complaints of a male caller contacting people in the area, claiming to be collecting a debt owed to the Canada Revenue Agency. The man attempts to convince the victim to clear up the debt by sending money or prepaid gift cards, such as iTunes cards.

The CRA scam started emerging in 2013, and have become a popular tool for defrauding people over the phone and email. According to police, any push back from the victim is usually met with immediate threats of calling the police, sending CRA employees to the door, blacklisting their social insurance number, and even jail time, with the goal of frightening the victim into complying.

Police remind the public the CRA will never threaten a person with immediate arrest or prison sentence, ask information about your passport, health card or driver’s license, request personal information be sent by email, email you a link requesting you fill in an online form with personal or financial details, send you a link to your refund by email or text message, setup an in-person meeting in a public place to take a payment or demand immediate payment by prepaid credit card or gift cards.

However, in some circumstances, the CRA will notify you by email when there is new mail available for you to view in secure portals, send you a notice of assessment or re-assessment by mail, or notify you by  email when it is available to view in CRA secure portals, Ask for financial information such as the name of your bank and its location, and request payment of tax debt through the agency’s secure methods.

Those who believe they are the victim of a scam are asked to contact police by phone at 403-529-8481, or visit the station in person at 884 2nd Street SE to speak to an officer.

Additionally, if you suspect a scam, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online at www.antifraudcentre.ca or toll free at 1-888-495-8501.

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