Your Orangeville Police Service wishes to again make the community aware that the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) scam is still targeting area residents.
In the last two months 7 Orangeville residents have been victims of this fraud with a total loss of $12,000.00. The individual losses have ranged from $200.00 to $4,000.00.
Several other residents have been targeted but did not become victims.
The scammers advise that they are agents of the CRA and that they are calling to address outstanding debts owed to the CRA. The targeted members of the public are told to pay the outstanding amount immediately or they will be arrested and taken into custody until the debt is paid. Further instructions are then given for the target to purchase gift cards from various large retail stores such as Shoppers Drug Mart, Home Depot and Walmart. Instructions to purchase gift cards from online retailers such as iTunes and Bitcoin Currency are also very common.
Upon purchasing the cards, the fraudsters instruct the victims to uncover the serial numbers for each of the cards and to provide the information to the scammer. At this point the victim is likely to be told that the amount of the outstanding debt with the CRA has increased and the victim is instructed to make additional purchases.
“The fact that people are still falling victim to these scams speaks to how aggressive and convincing these criminals can be”, said Constable Scott Davis, Public and media Relations Officer. “We are asking the retail business community to continue to help educate the public by perhaps posting a message at gift card display areas and having staff members engage customers who attempt to purchase large quantities of gift cards”.
Residents are also reminded that the Canadian Revenue Agency will never ask you to deal with outstanding debt by way of gift card or Bitcoin payment.
Police encourage the public to report such incidents when they occur.