The Canadian Revenue Agency Scam continues to plague Nanaimo and claim some victims.
The scam involves a telephone call in which the caller poses as a Canada Revenue Agency agent who claims the victim owes taxes an investigation has been started and the victim must pay the amount owing or risk arrest and imprisonment.
In one recent incident, a Nanaimo woman went to a local grocery store and tried to purchase $5,000 in iTunes cards with her VISA card. The store manager denied the transaction, but proceeded when she produced $3,000 in cash to purchase the cards. The manager, still leery of the transaction, decided to contact the Nanaimo RCMP.
The woman admitted to police she had received a call from someone purporting to be a CRA officer who told her she owed back taxes and the easiest way for her to avoid jail time was to purchase the iTunes cards. Over a period of time, the she’d gone to various locations and purchased $9,000 in iTunes cards and might have continued purchasing cards if the manager hadn’t called the RCMP.
Investigators have worked with the victim and contacted Apple and her charter bank and have, so far, helped get $6,000 credited back to her credit card.
“This is an extreme situation but worth mentioning as the CRA scam continues to evolve and use different ploys and tactics to swindle unsuspecting victims”, said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, in a press release.
O’Brien said police in Nanaimo have received numerous calls about the iTunes variant of the CRA scam.
People who receive a call from someone claiming to be a CRA officer with the CRA should simply hang up. The Canada Revenue Agency only makes contact through regular mail. Also, people who simply receive a scam phone call should not call the Nanaimo RCMP detachment.
Instead, to report a scam or learn more about ongoing telephone and other types of fraud, please visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca or call the centre Toll-free at 1-888-495-8501