Thunder Bay

Police warn public to be cautious as CRA phone scam continues

Police report that fraudsters continue to call people claiming they owe money to Canada Revenue Agency.

The OPP says that some of their communications centres have been flooded with calls about the scam

A close up image shows a finger pressing a number on a phone.
Police say in some cases seniors are especially vulnerable to the phony calls. (CBC)

Police report fraudsters are continuing to call people claiming they owe money to the Canada Revenue Agency.

Some of the OPP communications centres are receiving upwards to 100 or more calls per day from people who have received one of these calls.

Police caution people to be suspicious of anyone, no matter whom they say they are, if they ask you to wire money, or load a rechargeable money card as a way to pay back the debt.

There's no legitimate reason for someone to ask you to send money that way.

They also advise that no matter how convincing a letter, e-mail, text or phone call seems, check it out. Look up the real number for the government agency, office or employee and get the real story.

If the debt is legitimate but you think the collector may not be, contact your creditor about the calls. Share the information you have about the suspicious calls and find out who, if anyone, the creditor has authorized to collect the debt.

Do not give the caller personal financial or other sensitive information. Never give out or confirm personal financial or other sensitive information like your bank account, credit card or Social Insurance Number unless you know with whom you're dealing.

Scam artists,such as fake debt collectors, can use your information to commit identity theft. They can charge your existing credit cards, open new credit card, chequing, or savings accounts, write fraudulent cheques, or even take out loans in your name.