Oxford County OPP are warning citizens of more fraudulent phone calls and emails from unknown men who are claiming to represent the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
Numerous local residents have reported receiving the fraudulent calls, and one such case reported Jan. 7 involved an East-Zorra Tavistock resident contacting the police to report a suspicious call. The resident advised police that he spoke earlier to a very aggressive man who said he was a CRA inspector. Due to the angry nature of the caller, the EZT resident provided the caller with his Social Insurance Number (SIN), which are a vital piece of information that can assist in stealing a person’s identity.
The resident was then told he could speak to a CRA lawyer over the phone. The second man was also aggressive when speaking to the resident, and when the resident declined to provide any further information and asked for documents to be forwarded to a lawyer of his choice, the caller started changing his requests. The resident then became suspicious and ended the call and contacted to OPP.
Police are reminding all residents in Oxford County to be extremely vigilant when answering phone calls or emails from someone claiming to be from the CRA or any other government agency inquiring about personal information or demanding payment on behalf of the CRA.
These types of calls are designed to create anxiety and complete shock for the unsuspecting resident, resulting in personal and financial information being disclosed.
The OPP have also provided guidelines as to what the CRA does not do.
The CRA does not do the following: Request personal information of any kind from a taxpayer by email, divulge taxpayer information to another person unless formal authorization is provided by the taxpayer, as well as leave any personal information or threatening messages on an answering machine.
When in doubt, the OPP is telling residents to do the following: Think, are you expecting any calls from the CRA? Does this sound too good to be true? Is the caller able to identify themselves with an ID number that you can verify? Is the requester asking for information I would not include with my tax return? Is the requester asking for information I know the CRA already has on file for me? How did the requester get my email address? Am I confident I know who is asking for the information?
For more information on fraud call the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501. The CRA has also posted information on their website regarding how interact with clients at www.cra-arc.gc.ca/scrty/frdprvntn/menu-eng.html.