Accessible Version

BPS Warn Residents about CRA Phone Scam

Feb 10, 2021

Incident 21-4769

Brantford Police Service are issuing a warning to residents after receiving a report from a victim who had been fraudulently contacted by callers falsely identifying themselves as from the Canadian Revenue Agency and the Brantford Police Service.

On February 9, 2021, a local woman received a call believed to be from the Canada Revenue Agency demanding payment of a fictitious debt to avoid arrest. In an attempt to verify the legitimacy of the demands, the victim also received a call from an individual who falsely identified himself as a Brantford Police Officer. These calls utilized "spoofing” technology, which caused the phone display to appear as though the call had originated from the Brantford Police Service. 

In this incident, the victim was instructed that she was required to withdraw cash from her bank and deposit the funds into a Bitcoin machine to avoid arrest. The victim deposited $15,600 to the Bitcoin machine before reporting the incident to the Brantford Police Service. 

BPS would like the public to be alert regarding this type of scam as the suspects were able to successfully clone the Brantford Police Station phone number and when calling, identified themselves as Brantford Police Officers.

Spoofing scams such as these can appear legitimate as they often involve the use of technology, which can cause a phone display to show a local telephone number, or a Brantford Police Service registered phone number. Caller ID spoofing allows fraudsters to disguise their calls and make them appear to represent a legitimate organization. Do not trust what is showing on your phone’s caller ID display. If you suspect a company or government agency is seeking personal information or money fraudulently, contact them directly to verify the validity of the request.

Residents are advised to be cautious of such scams and to be advised that no such calls are being made from any phone number associated with the Brantford Police Service.

Members of the Canadian Revenue Agency and the Brantford Police Service will not call you and ask for your banking information while threatening your arrest.  The Canadian Revenue Agency does not accept e-transfers, gift cards, crypto-currency or wire payments for any fees or services. The CRA never uses text messages or instant messaging such as Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp to communicate with taxpayers. Any text or instant message claiming to be from the CRA is a scam.

The Canadian Revenue Agency can be reached at 1-800-959-8281, or you can monitor "My Account” online at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/scrty/frdprvntn/menu-eng.html 

The Brantford Police Service wish to remind residents of the importance of fraud education and protecting oneself from becoming a victim.  Please see below for tips on how to protect yourself from fraud. We also encourage spreading the word to those, such as the elderly, who may be particularly vulnerable to these fraudsters and may be targets of these high-pressure scams.

TIPS:

  • DO NOT provide personal information (e.g. Social Insurance Number, passport number, banking information or credit card numbers) over the phone unless you placed the call and you know for certain who you are speaking to.
  • Accredited businesses and Government Agencies will never ask for payment using gift cards or bitcoin.
  • If you suspect it is a scam, it may be - just hang up. Conduct your own research to determine validity.
  • Never wire money based on a request made over the phone or in an email, especially overseas.
  • Resist the pressure to act quickly, if the offer is too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Consider adding your phone number to the Nation Do Not Call List: www.Innte-dncl.gc.ca/index-eng 
  • Consult with someone you trust before agreeing to provide large sums of money to anyone.
  • DO NOT write down passwords and carry them with you.
 
If you have already sent funds and/or your personal information, contact the police and your financial institution immediately. If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud and reside in the City of Brantford, contact the Brantford Police Service at 519-756-7050 or 519-756-0113. You can also report online at: https://www.brantfordpolice.ca/online-reporting 

If you have not experienced a financial loss but have received a fraudulent call, such as the CRA scam, please report the incident by calling the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraud.ca/index-eng.htm 
               
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