A Listowel, Ont., woman lost $3,000 to a scam artist who claimed to be from the Canadian Revenue Agency, but requested she pay off a fake debt using iTunes cards.
Ontario Provincial Police in Perth County say the woman received a message on June 15 that she owed the CRA more than $6,000. She called back the phone number that was provided and spoke to a man who identified himself as an officer.
"He told her to pay the money owing or be arrested," police said in a release Thursday.
Told to buy iTunes cards
The man told her she needed to pay off her debt using iTunes cards. He instructed her to go to the store and buy 10 $100 cards, then call back.
When she did so, he told her to provide the security codes from each of the ten cards. He then told her to go to a different store and buy another 20 of the $100 cards. She repeated the process.
On her third trip to the store, she was instructed to go to the same store but a different till to buy 10 more cards. A clerk stopped the woman and asked her why she needed so many iTunes cards.
"The clerk finally convinced her that this was a scam, talked her out of purchasing the cards, and urged her to go to the police," OPP said.
CRA does not threaten
Police said this scam has been making the rounds for some time and the scammers take the security codes and resell them.
Police want to remind residents the Canada Revenue Agency does not contact people looking for personal information, they do not leave threatening messages and they do not demand immediate payment.