Windsor

Victimization continues in CRA telephone fraud scam, police say

Windsor police says victimization continues in an ongoing telephone fraud scam where callers try to con money from residents by posing as officials from the Canada Revenue Agency.
Windsor police Chief Al Frederick, Const. Rob Durling and MP Brian Masse are warning residents about ongoing victimization in a CRA phone scam. (Amy Dodge/CBC)

Windsor police says victimization continues in an ongoing telephone fraud scam where callers try to con money from residents by posing as officials from the Canada Revenue Agency.

"They're pulling on people's heart strings," Chief Al Frederick said.

Callers have been posing as agents of the CRA and also as Windsor police officers, demanding residents pay their debt or face possible arrest. Windsor police reported 50 calls related to this scam since February 1. 

Windsor police Chief Al Frederick says CRA scammers are appealing to their victims' emotions. (Amy Dodge/CBC)

Const. Rob Durling, with the police service's financial crimes unit, says one person was bilked out of $34,000. 

"Every law enforcement agency across Canada has to deal with this," Durling said. "This is a major problem." 

"When people hear CRA, police and money in the same sentence, they start to panic, their emotions take over and then they actually think they are legitimately in trouble," he said. 

Durling said the upcoming tax season means people need to be even more vigilant in the face of unwarranted calls from people pretending to be from the CRA. 

He said this particular scam is nothing new and that police have known about this for years. But national exposure may help make more people aware of the problem, he said. 

"It comes in waves," Durling said. "It seems to increase in its frequency this time of year, obviously because tax season is just around the corner. But this scam has been going on for years, it's nothing unique." 

If you receive these calls, police are asking you to call CRA at 1-800-267-6999

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