(MACDONALD-MEREDITH-ABERDEEN ADDITIONAL TOWNSHIP, ON) – Sault Ste. Marie Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is warning the public and businesses about a gift card scam that was recently reported.
On July 3, 2017 a female received a call from someone claiming to be from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) informing her she owed money and that she would have to pay the debt in the form of an on-line gaming gift card.
The victim purchased the gift card and lost and undisclosed amount of money.
The fraudsters can even urge victims to turn over the gift cards via SnapChat with victims losing all their money as the fraudsters redeem the card numbers.
“We want to warn the public, and especially businesses, that if you see people purchasing large volumes of gift cards, to please take a moment and ask them about it. Ask them if this is a request allegedly coming from the Canada Revenue Agency and if it is, please advise them to call police,” Staff Sergeant Michael Maville, Detachment Commander, Sault Ste. Marie OPP.
The following are warning signs and tips on how to protect yourself:
- The CRA will never ask for personal information through an email or text message or by clicking on a link.
- The CRA will never request payment by prepaid credit cards or iTunes gift cards, and it does not send emails containing details of a tax refund or Interac e-transfer payments.
- The CRA advises Canadians to confirm the status of their tax accounts before taking any action that may be the result of pressure from suspicious calls or emails, and to verify the legitimacy of the communication by contacting the CRA directly at 1-800-959-8281 or by checking My Account or My Business Account.
- For more information about fraud scams involving the CRA, visit Protect yourself against fraud.
- If you’ve shared personal information, contact Equifax and Trans Union to place fraud alerts on your account.
- If you’ve shared banking information with the scammers, contact your financial institution to place alerts on your account.