Winkler Police are once again warning residents of the Canada Revenue Agency scam.
Last week a local man reported to police he received a phone call from an individual identifying himself as a Canada Revenue Agency representative. The individual advised the male that he was required to pay a large sum of money or a warrant would be issued for his arrest. The male subsequently provided the individual with a large amount of Google Play card numbers. Police advised the male that this was a scam and to refuse any further calls from the fraudster.
The CRA scam often begins with a phone call from either a live person or an automated message, claiming to be calling from the CRA and advising that you owe back taxes. You are threatened to be arrested and/or deported if you do not immediately pay by purchasing iTunes or Steam gift cards and providing the codes to the caller.
Other common scams include:
Grandparent scam: A person posing as your grandchild (or an officer or lawyer representing the grandchild) calls and asks you to send money because he or she is in trouble and/or arrested. The caller wants the money sent immediately, so there is no time to verify the call.
Overpayment scam: You receive payment for an item you are selling online. The suspect sends a cheque for more than the agreed upon price and asks that you send a portion of the money back. As it turns out, the cheque you received was fraudulent and you are out the money you sent to the suspect.
Online Buying/Selling scam: You are advertising an item for sale online, and the suspect shows interest in purchasing the item but requests that you send them a large sum of money to cover some sort of fees, usually via wire transfer.
You purchase an item online and provide the requested payment. You keep receiving messages from the seller that they require additional payments to cover unexpected expenses such as shipping fees, duty fees, etc. The suspect will continue to request additional payments with repeated excuses about why they require more money.
Inappropriate Video of Yourself: You receive an email from a suspect claiming to have video from your webcam of you watching inappropriate videos online. The suspect demands payment or they will forward the video to your Facebook friends, contacts, etc.
Online Dating scam: You begin a relationship with an individual you meet online. Not before long, the suspect begins requesting money from you for various reasons. They may even request payment through iTunes gift cards at some point. You attempt to meet the suspect in person, but they always have a reason to cancel.
For more information regarding different types of frauds and what you can do to protect yourself, visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website: http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/index-eng.htm
Residents are encouraged to contact police if they believe they've been the victim of fraud and have lost money.
If you believe you have been the victim of fraud but did not lose money, report the fraud to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre by calling 1-888-495-8501.