The RCMP’s Greater Toronto Are Financial Crime Unit is warning the public of an ongoing scam where callers are claiming to be with the Canada Revenue Agency. The scammers will try to convince their target that multiple payment notices have gone unanswered, and that this is the last chance for the mark to pay the CRA hundreds of dollars immediately, usually via Western Union or another money transfer service.
Now, some of the scammers are resorting to threats when things don’t go their way! In one phone call, the angry imposter threatened to blow up somebody’s house!
How do we stop these calls from being made in the first place? It doesn’t help that scammers are spoofing or altering their phone number to make it look like they’re legitimate. In Canada, Caller ID spoofing is currently legal!
Here’s a phone conversation with the “CRA”, courtesy of the RCMP:
CRA Imposter: Hello I am calling from the Canadian Revenue Agency, is this Tom ____?
Tom: Yes, who is this, what is this regarding?
CRA Imposter: This is Eric Foster (an Anglophone surname, which is confusing as it is contrasted by a strong ethnic accent) of the Canadian Revenue Agency and my badge number is CRM 3542. Can I please have your date of birth and address?
Tom: October 26, 1955, address is 106 Limeridge Crescent Kingston. Can you please tell me what is this related to? Is there a problem?
Eric Foster (CRA Imposter #1): Yes we checked your tax returns form 2008-2013 and we found you owe $5,000.This is a serious matter and you better resolve it now.
Tom: I don’t understand. I did my taxes on time and I always pay what I owe. This makes no sense.
Eric Foster (CRA Imposter #1): You better cooperate otherwise you will be arrested and all your assets will be seized. (Raised tone of voice)
Tom: Why didn’t I get something in writing to inform me of this?
Eric Foster (CRA Imposter #1): We have sent you numerous letters which you did not answer so this is your last chance to resolve this debt.
Tom: I don’t’ understand, you are making me nervous, I do want to deal with this now but I still don’t understand how I could owe so much……
Eric Foster (CRA Imposter #1): Interrupts…… Sir, I have my supervisor, Mr. Jonathan Knight, here and he will explain this better to you.
Tom: Ok, ok…(while on phone, wrote a note to his wife asking her to call CRA from her cell and inquire on the badge number and if this is legit call)
Jonathan Knight (CRA Imposter #2): This is Mr. Jonathan Knight badge number CRM 49711. Mr. ___ this is a very serious matter and you are required to pay us in the next two hours or else an arrest will be made. You owe us $5,000!!!
Tom: I don’t have that amount of money available. That is too much and I definitely won’t have it in the next two hours.
Jonathan Knight (CRA Imposter #2): What do you have in your bank account Mr. ____??Tom?? You better take me seriously, we need a payment tonight. We need you to send an electronic money transfer in next two hours!!
Tom: I could get half that cash in 30 minutes or so but not the full $5,000…… (his wife now wrote a note to him saying” It’s a scam, hang up”)
Jonathan Knight (CRA Imposter #2): Sir, you are not understanding how critical this situation is, do you want to go to jail??
Tom: I think you are not who you say you are and you are trying to scam me. I will call the local police and report this immediately.
Jonathan Knight (CRA Imposter #2): THIS WAS A WRONG MOVE, WE KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE AND WE CAN COME KILL YOU OR MAYBE WE WILL BLOW UP YOUR HOME!!! (hangs up)
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