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The Hamilton Police Major Fraud Unit needs the public’s help to stop people becoming victims of fraud.

On Thursday August 24th 2017 police responded to a Hamilton area variety store at the request of a citizen who believed a lady was a victim of a scam. The citizen observed the elderly female inserting a large amount of cash into a bitcoin ATM while holding piece of paper that read “CRA Legal NOTICE”. When police arrived they answered the victim’s phone when it began to ring and spoke with a person who identified herself as “Mary Jones” of the Hamilton Police. The number that was displayed on the cell phone was (905) 546-4925 – the non-emergency line of the Hamilton Police. 

It was learned that this victim had deposited almost $17,000 into Bitcoin machines throughout the area.

These scams frequently involve criminals pretending to be government officials seeking money for taxes or immigration fees. These scammers often direct victims to “pay their fines” using prepaid gift cards. The callers are intimidating and will keep you on the phone so that you can’t call anyone or ask for help.

The current CRA Scam is targeting all members of our community but may be especially troubling to new Canadians who may not know rules or policies of government agencies. No official administrative center will ever require you to pay using Bitcoin ATM, iTunes or Steam cards or other prepaid gift cards, or to wire money through services such as Western Union. Nor will they use high pressure tactics, be disrespectful, or contact you through a text.

Nobody believes they will ever fall victim to such a scam but many people do. Some people are more susceptible to deceptive tactics and we need to make sure they are aware of these fraudsters. Please make sure you talk about it with your friends, family, and neighbours.