Calgary police warn public of tax-related phone scam

Calgary police are warning people to be wary of a tax-related phone scam.

Caller claims to be from Canada Revenue Agency, threatens arrest if back taxes not immediately repaid

Police say callers demand tax debt be repaid by money transfer or pre-paid credit cards. (CBC)

Calgary police are warning people to be wary of a tax-related phone scam.

The scam involves a caller claiming to be from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) who says the victim owes back taxes.

The caller says if the debt is not paid off immediately, the victims would be arrested.

The victims are told to pay the debt with prepaid credit cards or through a money transfer service and are kept on the phone until the money has been sent.

Police say the caller usually has some of the intended victim's personal information, such as name, address and possibly even bank account details. 

Police identified 35 victims in 2014 who were defrauded of around $60,000. Targets are often from the Southeast Asian community.

Police are reminding the public the Canada Revenue Agency does not threaten immediate arrest on unpaid taxes and would never ask a person to pay off debts using cash or credit cards.

Citizens can confirm if a call is legitimate by calling the agency back through one of their published phone numbers, such as 1-800-959-8281.

Anyone who has been a victim of this scam or anyone with information is asked to contact Calgary police or Crime Stoppers.


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