Nanaimo police are receiving hundreds of complaints about what has become known as the Canadian Revenue Agency scam.
The scammer calls to deliver a pre-recorded phone message identifying himself as a Canada Revenue agent, warning intended victims there is an issue with their tax returns and investigations have been started.
“There’s a phone call and there’s also an e-mail that says you are receiving a tax credit and there’s money waiting for you and we need your credit card to process it,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman.
Most people recognize the calls and e-mails, which have been happening for several months, as just an annoying scam, but O’Brien said on Friday a woman in Nanaimo took the scam seriously and was stopped from withdrawing $5,000 from her bank account by a teller who warned her it was a scam.
“It is a scam,” O’Brien said. “They are asking for personal information. They are threatening in nature and very aggressive. The CRA would never treat you in such a way. They would never ask you to purchase pre-paid credit cards, ask you for passport, health card or driver’s licence information. You confidentiality is important to them.”
People who receive scam calls and e-mails can leave complaints with Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, a collection agency for fraud complaints that develops strategies to help law enforcement agencies deal with aggressive telemarketing scams, by visiting www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca or by calling 1-888-495-8501.