Beach senior uncovers phone scam

An 81-year-old Beach resident is warning others about a phone scam by fraudsters who pretend to be the Canada Revenue Agency.

The Wheeler Avenue resident, who did not want her name published, said she got a phone message last Friday from a man who claimed she owed $5,786 in back taxes to the CRA.

When she returned the call Monday, the man asked for her credit card and threatened her with arrest if she refused.

The woman uncovered the scam after quizzing the man about her file.

Besides listing her age at 44, the man used a nickname for her rather than the full name she uses on official records.

“I couldn’t make a mistake like that on my papers,” she said. “It had to be a fraud.”

During the hour-long call, the woman accused the man of being a fraudster. She then reported him to 55 Division police and the RCMP.

Local police constable Luis Florez said the fake CRA phone call is a common scam.

“Never disclose any of your personal info over the phone,” he said.

“If they call, you can always ask for a confirmation by mail.”

Florez said such scams usually run from May to December, as fraudsters claim to be CRA auditors looking for unpaid taxes or offering refunds. Typically, they are seeking a credit card, bank account, social insurance or passport number.

This year, 55 Division police have seen a new twist in the scam –fraudsters who go door-to-door as CRA “agents.”

Again, Florez said people can ask for a confirmation by mail and turn them away.

On its website, the CRA warns that fraudsters now use phone calls, texts, mail and email.

The CRA never emails or texts people for personal information, nor do they threaten criminal charges or request payment by prepaid credit card.

To report a suspected scam, phone the RCMP Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or visit www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca to make a report online.

Residents can also report suspected fraudsters, including physical descriptions of door-to-door “agents,” by phoning Toronto police at 416-808-2222.


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