Dan Ferguson Langley Times

Red Deerians tax scam victims out thousands of dollars each

In the last few days Red Deer RCMP has received 30 tax scam reports

Several Red Deer victims are out thousands of dollars thanks to the latest Canada Revenue Agency tax scam.

In the past few days, Red Deer RCMP have received more than 30 reports of tax scams, including from a handful of victims who have lost between $1,500 and $4,700 each.

Several recent files show the scammers calling back after successfully victimizing Red Deerians once, telling them they owed even more money.

One Red Deer complainant reported that their phone display showed the Red Deer RCMP complaint line number, and that the scammer claimed to have a warrant from the Alberta RCMP for their arrest.

Victims were persuaded by aggressive callers to pay “overdue” taxes with gift cards, Steam cards (an online game), prepaid credit cards or bitcoin currency.

“Red Deer RCMP urge people to ask questions, be skeptical of phone calls from anyone who is demanding money, and to educate themselves about these very common scams,” says Cpl. Karyn Kay of the Red Deer RCMP. “Check your facts and do your research, and be alert to red flags such as anyone demanding payment through gift cards or pre-paid credit cards. Then, when you get a call from a scammer, hang up and ignore them.”

Police said the scam has many variations from pre-recorded messages, numerous calls with threats of arrests or deportation in an ongoing attempt to pressure victims into sending money.

Police said no matter which approach scammers take, key facts are always the same:

· Even if you do owe money to Canada Revenue Agency, they do not accept payment in gift cards or bitcoin. No legitimate agency does.

· Any legitimate caller will encourage you to call back independently to verify their claim. Do not call back to a number the caller gives you. Look up CRA or the appropriate agency and call them yourself.

· If police call you on police business, they will give you verifiable facts including a file number and their name and rank. If you get a threatening phone call claiming to represent police and asking for money, ask for those verifiable facts, hang up and call your local police detachment to check.

· Remember that scammers frequently use “number spoofing” to make it look like their call is coming from a legitimate organization.

If you receive a call from a tax scammer, you do not need to report it to police unless you have fallen victim to their scam. Police said because these scammers are located outside of Canada, it is impossible to locate them. They advise residents to hang up the phone.

Just Posted

Red Deer hospital expansion advances to square one

Planning for future needs gets $1-million over five years

Divergent views on budget expressed by Red Deer school boards

Red Deer’s two school board chairs have opposite views on the provincial… Continue reading

Buffalo Lake residents voice opposition to proposed RV Resort

County of Stettler holds contentious Public Hearing on Paradise Shores RV Resort

Budget good for RDC, not so much Red Deer businesses

College can apply for more tech spots, but minimum wage is still going up

WATCH: Hundreds come to Red Deer Rebels Fan Fest

The Red Deer Rebels met with legions of their of fans just… Continue reading

Excavator frees dolphins trapped by pack ice in Newfoundland harbour

HEARTS DELIGHT, N.L. — A pod of dolphins trapped by pack ice… Continue reading

Structure fire destroys home in Mirror

A house in Mirror is completely damaged due to an overnight structure… Continue reading

Trudeau warns senators not to thwart will of Canadians on marijuana bill

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is reminding senators that his government… Continue reading

Burgers outselling classic baguette sandwiches in France

PARIS — Forget the baguette. The French are going crazy for burgers.… Continue reading

Can Zuckerberg’s media blitz take the pressure off Facebook?

NEW YORK — In the wake of a privacy scandal involving a… Continue reading

Brace for more red ink, no good plan for balance in Alberta budget: opposition

EDMONTON — Opposition parties say Albertans should brace for a provincial budget… Continue reading

Police: Austin bomber’s motive still unknown, despite video

PFLUGERVILLE, Texas — A 25-minute cellphone video left behind by the bomber… Continue reading

Facebook crisis-management lesson: What not to do

NEW YORK — The crisis-management playbook is pretty simple: Get ahead of… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month