CRA scam complaints spike in Merritt

By on June 14, 2017
File photo.

Merritt RCMP took 12 calls in one day regarding scammers attempting to strong-arm locals into giving up their hard-earned money.

Police received multiple complaints Monday (June 12) from residents saying they were contacted by someone claiming to be with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) who demanded payments still owed.

It’s a common scam that continues to make the rounds, but RCMP Const. Tracy Dunsmore said none of people who reported the calls to police fell for the trick.

“They are paying attention and they are recognizing that these are scams,” said Dunsmore.

She said that the CRA will never call you and demanding payments they owed.

“They won’t ask for your VISA [card number] they won’t ask for any personal information over the phone,” Dunsmore said of the actual CRA.

Anyone who wants to contact the CRA directly to ensure they do not owe money should contact them directly via their website, she said.

If people have given any personal information over the phone to people claiming to be with the CRA, Dunsmore said they should report it to their bank.

Anyone who receives this type of call should hang up the phone and then contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud centre at 1-888-495-8501.

In addition to calls about people claiming to be with the CRA, Dunsmore said they received a complaint of an online scam attempt. In this case, a local man who is selling a property was offered more than he was asking for, but asked to cover fees.

“Somebody contacted him and wanted to buy it for more than what he was selling, but they needed him to send them a cheque for $1,800 to process the legal fees,” said Dunsmore, adding that the man caught on that he was being scammed right away.

Scammers will often target people online, asking you to send money or cover costs, said Dunsmore.

“And then they’ll send you a cheque that will eventually bounce or not be accurate,” she said.

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