A Calgary woman has been defrauded in a Canada Revenue Agency scheme to the tune of almost $20,000 involving iTunes gift cards, Calgary police said in a release Thursday.
The woman got a call Wednesday morning from a man claiming to work with the tax agency, stating an arrest warrant had been issued for her due to unpaid taxes. The man, who called her cellphone and asked for her by name, also said liens had been placed on her home, vehicle and investments.
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The caller directed the woman to buy iTune gift cards at a nearby grocery store and give him the activation codes while he remained on the phone with her.
He then had the victim go to another store to purchase more gift cards. The suspect claimed he was at the courthouse trying to get the arrest warrant dropped when he asked for yet more money from the woman.
She went to her bank and took out additional funds but also contacted a family member seeking more money.
That relative contacted police who intervened but not before the woman was taken for almost $20,000.
The CRA will never ask for payment in the form of a gift card and it won't call demanding money or threatening arrest.
Police are warning both the public and retailers of this aggressive new approach to CRA fraud.
Anyone who may have been targeted with this scam is asked to contact police at 403-266-1234 or through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.