April 13, 2016 2:34 pm
Updated: April 13, 2016 2:38 pm

Ontario woman defrauded of more than $12K in iTunes gift cards in CRA scam: police

The Canada Revenue Agency headquarters in Ottawa is shown on November 4, 2011.

Sean Kilpatrick / The Canadian Press

Police are warning the public and retailers after scammers pretending to be from the Canada Revenue Agency defrauded a 66-year-old Oshawa woman of more than $12,000 in iTunes gift cards.

The woman reported to Durham Regional Police on April 5 that she had received a phone call from someone claiming to be from the CRA, who allegedly told her that if she didn’t pay them for unpaid taxes she would be imprisoned for 11 years.

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That’s when police said the suspects told the woman to buy Apple iTunes gift cards and call them back with the serial numbers.

The woman complied and was defrauded of more than $12,000, but was then told that more money was needed.

On Monday, staff at a Walmart in Bowmanville called police after seeing a “confused” elderly woman purchasing a large amount of iTunes gift cards.

A police officer who was coincidentally already inside the store then came to the woman’s assistance and stopped her before she had passed on the serial numbers to the scammers.

READ MORE: Tax season brings tax scams, warns CRA

Police said she was able to get a refund from the store for $2,500 worth of gift cards.

Investigators are asking retailers to report suspicious transactions, especially in cases where a vulnerable person is involved.

Anyone with information on this or other alleged fraud incidents in Durham Region is asked to contact Durham Regional Police at 1-888-579-1520.

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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