CRA scam adapting to go after former victims a 2nd time, RCMP warns
Fraudsters promise refund for money lost to scam, but request processing fee from victims
A scam involving offshore fraudsters who pose as Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) agents is continuing with a new twist that has them re-engaging with former victims, the RCMP says.
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) first warned about the scam in 2014. Initially the scam involved a call requesting a person send cash in order to resolve an outstanding tax- or immigration-related matter. The fraudsters would ask their victims to immediately send money through Western Union or MoneyGram, send direct deposits or use pre-paid credit cards.
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Now, the fraudsters are contacting their former victims by email.
"The fraudsters have changed their script in an attempt to re-engage victims in a 'fraud refund scam,'" RCMP Sgt. Penny Hermann wrote in an email to CBC News.
The fraudsters' emails include a promise to pay back most of the money that the victim lost, as long as the victim agrees to make an administrative payment of five per cent of the original amount that was lost, the RCMP said.
'Pleased to pay you'
In a media advisory released Monday, the RCMP included a quote from an actual email the fraudsters sent to a victim:
"As you have already paid a huge amount of money to various scammers. Based on your background verification and as per your discussion with our senior management personnel Mr. David Carter, we are pleased to pay you a CAD 97000 dollars."
"The scripts change over time as the fraudsters adapt to public awareness," Hermann wrote.
In October 2016, the RCMP reported 70 people in Thane, India, were arrested in connection with the CRA scam.
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In 2016, CAFC received a total of 23,455 complaints about this scam, and there have been 40,000 complaints since 2014, Hermann wrote.