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Albertans continue to report telephone tax scams

RCMP continue to warn Albertans about a telephone tax scam where the caller says they're from the CRA.
RCMP continue to warn Albertans about a telephone tax scam where the caller says they're from the CRA. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

EDMONTON – Red Deer RCMP released a warning after receiving a number of complaints from people who had been called by scammers claiming to be from the Canada Revenue Agency.

The callers claim the person they’ve contacted owes money in taxes. Several people told RCMP they were called two or more times by the scam artists, who have become increasingly aggressive.

Officers say this scam comes up on a regular basis across the country and has been common in Red Deer over the past month.

READ MORE: Scammers net $60,000 through fake Canada Revenue Agency calls 

RCMP issued a public warning in June and again on Thursday.

Safety Tips:

· No legitimate government agency or business will demand payment in gift cards or prepaid credit cards. Only scammers use this untraceable payment method.

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· If you receive a call from someone claiming you owe money, independently verify the information by hanging up, looking up Canada Revenue Agency (or the appropriate agency) and calling them directly. Do not call back to a number given out by the person calling you.

· By using “number spoofing,” scammers can make it look like their call is coming from a local number or the number of a business or agency, thus misleading you as to where they are located.

READ MORE: Anti Fraud Centre warns of CRA scams spike 

RCMP say there have been other twists on on this type of scam used.  For instance, callers may claim to represent Citizenship and Immigration Canada and claim the intended victim owes “immigration fees,” or target small businesses and claim to represent a utility company demanding overdue electricity or gas payments.

For more information on how to protect yourself and educate your loved ones, visit the Anti Fraud Centre website.

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