As we inch closer to tax return season, members of the Lethbridge Police Service are warning residents that it will likely mean an influx of scams. Police say the most used scam tends to come in the form of messages, phone calls, or emails from fraudsters reporting to be from the CRA.
Authorities say once they get a potential victim on the line, they suggest that money is owed on the account, and penalties, up to and including jail time, are in play unless paid back immediately.
Sgt. Kevin Talbot with the LPS Economic Crimes Unit says that’s the tactic they use to get potential victims to act quickly and ignore all reasonableness and diligence.
“If they just asked politely, with no threat implied, you’d take the time to research it, figure out how you are going to resolve it, perhaps discuss it and negotiate before you deal with it,” he adds.
Police say the CRA will never ask for payments in any sort of non-traditional form, including the use of gift cards, bitcoin, or e-transfer.
Sgt. Talbot adds the best remedy is to ignore those demands and report the suspected scam to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre by phone at 1-888-495-8501 or online