Unifor Local 27 Retirees Chapter

Retired from the job, but not the fight

CRA Scam Alert

Posted on February 10, 2018

The 2017 tax season is upon us and with it the low-life telephone scammers are out in force.

Government agencies are reporting that the C.R.A. (Canada Revenue Agency) scams are once again targeting victims across Canada.

How it works:

You are contacted by an official from C.R.A. who informs you that you owe back taxes or penalties and if you don’t pay up immediately the police will be sent to arrest you.

You are given very little time to make the payment before you will be arrested for tax fraud.

With few exceptions, people who fall victim to these schemes always recognize that there were many warning signs, but they were given so little time to think that they panicked and paid.

Warning Signs:

  • The first warning sign is an obvious one, the C.R.A. NEVER phones people demanding payment
  • Targets are warned that they have a very short time (usually hours) to pay or be arrested.
  • The threat of police being sent to arrest you (never done by the C.R.A.).
  • Victims are often told not to contact their banks about the matter as the bank is also under investigation.
  • They are also often told not to contact a lawyer as this will result in prosecution.
  • Victims are told they cannot make payment by cheque or even in cash at the C.R.A. office but must make payment in bitcoin and sometimes (believe it or not) with gift cards.

Given the obvious warning signs of a scam it is hard to believe that people still fall victim to these lowlifes, but sadly they do.

Last year Canadians Canadians were swindled out of millions of dollars by C.R.A. scammers.

The bulk of the victims of these lowlifes are seniors (somewhere between 70 and 80 %)

An alternate C.R.A. scam is the “we have a refund for you so we need your banking info to make the deposit” (along with your S.I.N. and bank password!)

Let’s be aware! Seniors with known health or senility issues are often targeted and even residents of retirement homes! As seniors, we were raised to be more trusting than younger citizens as well as being less tech-savvy. Unfortunately, this combination tends to make us favourable targets for phone and computer scams.

Tips to save you from becoming another victim to this and other scams:

  • The C.R.A. NEVER phones taxpayers
  • Microsoft NEVER phones computer owners with warnings about system problems
  • If you get a pop-up message on your system warning you of a problem with instructions to phone someone to fix it, this is a scam; you likely have malware on your system that will require a full anti-virus scan (Not a call to the ass who likely put the malware on your computer to start with)!
  • Your Anti-virus program company NEVER phones you with warnings
  • The company that made your computer, cell phone, TV etc. NEVER phones you about issues with your tech.
  • Seniors are also falling victim to scams on dating sights, correspondence with your new friend can be going along fine when suddenly they need cash for a emergency operation or they are in a foreign country and have been robbed and need airfare home! Time to drop this sucker!
  • Lastly, and most obvious, NEVER give your credit card, banking or S.I.N. info out, on the phone or computer, to someone that you do not absolutely trust! And especially not to a total stranger who has phoned you!

Just to make things clear, NO you did not win a trip to the Bahamas, NOR did you win a vacuum cleaner, NOR did a long lost relative die and leave you 30 million dollars, NOR did a prince die and now his lawyers need your help to get his fortune out of the country, NOR is this unknown investment counselor who just phoned you going to make you rich.............We may be seniors, and by definition "more trusting" but we are also wiser, so let's be wise and THINK before we act.