Thunder Bay

'45 calls per hour': Thunder Bay police say CRA phone scam on the rise again

The Thunder Bay Police Service is once again asking residents in northwestern Ontario to be cautious when receiving calls about making payments, as they have been getting a high number of reports about fraudulent calls.

Residents are getting calls from the Canada Revenue Agency about unpaid taxes

OPP are warning of the "Head Office" scam (CBC)

The Thunder Bay Police Service is once again asking residents in northwestern Ontario to be cautious when receiving calls about making payments, as they have been getting a high number of reports about fraudulent calls.

Officials released a written statement on Friday advising residents to immediately hang up if they receive a call about making urgent payments to the Canada Revenue Agency due to unpaid taxes.

In this particular fraud scenario residents are told to make a payment immediately or a warrant will be issued for their arrest, police said.

This sense of urgency is a huge red flag, according to police, and should be seen as the fraudster attempting to have money sent to them before individuals have the time to really think about it.

Here are some other warning signs to keep in mind if you receive a similar call:

  1. Urgency – The scammer will always make the request sound very urgent, which leads to victims not verifying the story.
  2. Fear – The scammer will try to make you feel a sense of fear.
  3. Secrecy – The victim is usually told to not tell anyone about the situation.
  4. Request for money transfer – Money is usually requested to be sent through a company such as Money Gram, Western Union or even through your own bank.
  5. Request to purchase gift cards – The scammer may suggest you purchase gift cards such as iTunes, Visa or Mastercard and send them the number on the back as payment.

Police would also like to remind residents that only victims of an actual financial loss need to report to police. People who have not provided their personal information or paid any money do not have to report about a harassing phone call, as the Thunder Bay police are already aware of these frauds.

Residents are encouraged to check out the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website to learn about the current frauds and scams that have been reported.

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