The OPP want to remind people to be cautious after more Canada Revenue Agency scams occurred in the area near Orillia. On March 2nd, the fraudsters called the Orillia OPP saying they were from the CRA and were questioned by officers. With tax season on the horizon, the OPP are receiving calls from citizens who have been contacted by the same people and in some cases have lost money.
If you are contacted over the phone by someone saying they are the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) here are some tips taken right from the CRA website:
- never requests prepaid credit cards;
- never asks for information about your passport, health card, or driver’s licence;
- never shares your taxpayer information with another person, unless you have provided the appropriate authorization; and
- never leaves personal information on your answering machine or asks you to leave a message containing your personal information on an answering machine.
When in doubt, ask yourself the following:
- Is there a reason that the CRA may be calling? Do I have a tax balance outstanding?
- Is the requester asking for information I would not include with my tax return?
- Is the requester asking for information I know the CRA already has on file for me?
- How did the requester get my email address or telephone number?
- Am I confident that I know who is requesting the information?
When in doubt hang up the phone and call the CRA phone number included on the previous year tax returns or documentation received from the CRA. The number provided on the CRA website is 1-800-959-8281 for individual inquiries.
If you or someone you know receives an e-mail, phone call or letter demanding money, asking for money, threatening you for money or saying the most terrible thing has happened and they need money to help a loved one please call someone you trust and talk it over with them. Think about the following when receiving an e-mail, phone call or letter:
- Is it reasonable? Would a police agency call you for money to bail someone out? Would someone notify you of a million dollar win over e-mail?
- If it’s too good to be true it probably isn’t true.
- Just hang up then report it.
- Call someone else and tell them the story before sending money.
- Call the agency that is calling you; if you receive an e-mail asking for updated information call the bank or go to the bank and talk to a live person.
- If there is any doubt call the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
- Please talk to your relatives about frauds especially elderly relatives as they are more likely to be victims.