In a news release this morning, the RCMP announced that 60 people have been charged in the CRA phone scams. The scams which have been targeting Canadians for the past year have led to a joint investigation by RCMP and police in India, where they have raided around 40 call centres that were linked to these scams.
The scam itself has involved people from these call centres in India calling Canadians, pretending to be the CRA, which handles taxes in Canada. When they call they might ask for personal information like your social insurance number in order to give you some kind of tax benefit or refund. Another tactic is that they call claiming you owe the CRA money and they threaten you unless you offer to pay immediately, often by bitcoin.
Countless Canadians have fallen victim to these unfortunate scams, but in the last five months, the RCMP have been working alongside the police in India to try and put a stop to it. As of the end of last month, 60 individuals had been arrested in relation to the CRA scams and are now facing charges in India. Unfortunately, despite those arrests, the scams are still operating so the RCMP is now asking the public to help them track these criminals down.
They are specifically trying to develop leads on where these call centres are located and are hoping Canadians can provide some insight. They are looking for tips not only on where these call centres could be in India but also any information about where they might be operating here in Canada.
If you have any information that could be relevant or helpful, the RCMP ask for you to contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.
The RCMP is also warning Canadians not to become victims of these scams. They advise that the CRA will not call, text, or email you in regards to a tax debt or threatening you.
They also say that the CRA will never ask for your driver's license, passport, or credit card information over the phones. If at any point you suspect a call may be a scam the RCMP advise that you hang up immediately.
Canadians should also be aware of CRA email scams, where people posing as the CRA may send you a fake link to get a refund or ask for personal financial information via email in order to try to steal money from you.