CRA scam returns, callers ask demand payment through Bitcoin, iTunes

‘CRA won’t tell you to e-Transfer Bitcoin or pay in iTunes cards,’ says Saanich Police

The Saanich Police are cautioning residents of Saanich to be aware of a phone scam that has resurfaced.

In what’s commonly referred to as the Canada Revenue Agency scam, fraudsters impersonate real CRA agents. Over the past several weeks Saanich Police have received a number of reports of this scam.

The fraudsters contact victims by phone and inform the victim they owe the government money. The caller then threatens the victim with court action or jail if they don’t pay immediately. The fraudster then directs the victims to transfer Bitcoins or purchase iTunes gift cards in the amount they ‘owe.’

“We want to remind the public to remain vigilant and to know the Canada Revenue Agency will never ask you to pay an outstanding debt in Bitcoin, iTunes cards or other gift cards.” said Sgt. Jereme Leslie. “The CRA will contact you, via registered mail, if you owe an outstanding debt and they’ll never call and threaten you.”

When in doubt report the suspicious activity to police or the Canada Revenue Agency. Saanich Police also encourage you to have conversations with family and friends who may be more vulnerable to these types of scams.

For a list of common scams you can visit Saanich Police’s website at saanichpolice.ca or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at antifraudcentre.ca.

reporter@saanichnews.com