Scam warning issued

With tax returns come suspicious calls from “Canada Revenue Agency”

A couple of Vernon residents are reminding others not to fall for the ongoing phone scams.

“They’re on it again,” said Vera Niehaus, who recently received a call from someone claiming to be from Canada Revenue Agency.

“They told me I committed a fraud on my income tax and to call a certain number or they’ll be after me.”

But the alert resident didn’t fall for that old trick.

“I knew Revenue Canada wouldn’t call,” she said.

CRA scams aren’t the only ones circulating.

Another Vernon resident recently had a call from someone who faked their caller ID.

“I had a call showing my ex wife’s name and phone number,” said Barry Baptist, who answered the call thinking something was wrong with her.

But once the caller started asking about a Visa purchase he knew right away that it was a scam.

“We get them every week, phone calls like this,” said Baptist of the scams, which are increasingly raising identity theft concerns.

The RCMP said there hasn’t been an influx in scam reports, but the CRA has.

“Taxpayers should be vigilant when they receive, either by telephone, mail, text message or email, a fraudulent communication that claims to be from the Canada Revenue Agency requesting personal information such as a social insurance number, credit card number, bank account number, or passport number,” the CRA states on its website www.cra-arc.gc.ca

“These scams may insist that this personal information is needed so that the taxpayer can receive a refund or a benefit payment. Cases of fraudulent communication could also involve threatening or coercive language to scare individuals into paying fictitious debt to the CRA.”

Those suspecting scam calls or emails should report deceptive telemarketing to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online or by calling 1-888-495-8501.

If you suspect you may be the victim of fraud or have been tricked into giving personal or financial information, contact your local police service.