The likelihood is, if you're reading this and you live in Canada, you've been called by one of these scammers trying to intimidate you into paying tax debt or to convince you that you need to pay more taxes.
While many of may think, "How stupid do you have to be to fall for this kind of a scam?!"
But imagine getting a call like that if English is not your first language. Or perhaps if you do have real tax debt weighing on your conscience and you're already afraid that you've done something wrong.
When imagining myself in those shoes, I can easily see how someone could be scared into giving money to these scammers in an attempt to lawfully abide by Canadian tax law.
TL;DR The RCMP is warning of an ongoing telemarketing scam targeting Canadians. Call centres in India are attempting to intimidate people in Canada by pretending to be the Canada Revenue Agency and subsequently demanding the payment of tax debt.
Mars, le mois de la prévention de la #fraude vise à rappeler que les fraudeurs font preuve d’une grande habileté et usent d’une variété de stratagèmes pour manipuler leurs victimes. Être vigilant, c'est payant!
En savoir + : https://t.co/qfEaWvhlPUpic.twitter.com/Rl2jbkhKYd
The RCMP in conjunction with the GTA Financial Crime Section and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre are currently warning Canadians about the ongoing CRA tax scam that attempts to take advantage of Canadians via phone calls.
The following information comes from the recent Media Advisory released by the RCMP, linked above.
According to the RCMP, they are in the process of trying to "dismantle the illegal call centre network in India."
The call centres are responsible for intimidating Canadians via phone calls in relation to owed taxes or tax debt.
The RCMP has already taken down "approximately 40 call centres" and they have arrested "over 60 individuals" between September 2018 and January 2019. These individuals will now face prosecution in India.
However, the RCMP is still working to locate other illegal call centres to "dismantle and disrupt" the mass-marketing scheme that continues to attempt to take advantage of Canadians.
Apparently, the call centres are operating out of multiple locations throughout India, creating a large organized crime group participating in these scams.
The RCMP is also asking Canadians to assist in their investigation by providing tips and information on people responsible for the CRA scam, both in Canada and abroad.
They also remind Canadians on their site that the CRA will never call you to threaten you to pay your tax debts, nor will they call, leave a voicemail or send you texts or e-mails that they have a warrant for your arrest.
The CRA will never request that you pay tax debt via gift cards cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
You will not be deported if you do not pay a tax debt and if you suspect that you are on the phone with a scammer, hang up and report the suspected fraud.
To report a suspected scam or if you have other information relating to this scam the RCMP requests that you report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre can be reached via their website www.antifraudcentre.ca or via phone at 1-800-495-8501.
Also, the Canada Revenue Agency has a lot of information on their site to help you distinguish when you've been contacted by a scammer.
On their site, they lay out that the CRA may actually contact you by phone, but they will verify your identity by confirming your personal information and asking for information about your account that (hopefully) only you have the access to.