British Columbia

'Embarrassed' woman duped by CRA scammers made up story of arrest by police impostors

Police say a woman's claim that she was arrested by men dressed as police officers, handcuffed and thrown in a car is false. She did, however, lose $6,000 in a CRA scam.

Victim of scam falsely claimed she was handcuffed by men dressed as officers and thrown in a car

Police now say the CRA scam victim who claimed she was handcuffed by two men posing as police officers 'exaggerated' her story. (CBC)

Vancouver police say a woman who fell victim to a Canada Revenue Agency scam and claimed she was handcuffed and put in a car by two men posing as officers greatly "exaggerated" her story.

"At no point were there any people dressed as police officers and there were no handcuffs involved. She was never arrested," said Const. Jason Doucette.

The 58-year-old woman was defrauded of $6,000 after receiving a phone call from someone claiming she owed back taxes to the CRA.

Victim embarrassed she was duped

However, a team of investigators from the Vancouver police major crime division determined that at no time was the woman physically approached by the scammers.

"Detectives confirmed this morning that the victim was embarrassed for falling for the scam and panicked, deciding to exaggerate her story to include fake police," said Doucette. 

"Our investigators are now able to slow things down, put people's minds at ease that there's no one going around dressed up as police officers trying to take advantage of them."

On Thursday, the Vancouver police held a news conference to issue a public warning about the alleged impostors.

"We did the right thing," said Doucette. "We went public with the story out of an abundance of caution. We had no reason not to believe her." 

Police did not say how they determined the woman's story was false, or whether she could be facing a mischief charge. 

Read more from CBC British Columbia