RCMP warn consumers of CRA iTunes gift card scam

A Guelph woman fell victim to gift card scam.
A Guelph woman fell victim to gift card scam. File

North Vancouver RCMP are once again warning consumers of a phone and email scam where fraudsters claim to be from the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) and pressure victims into paying for non-existent tax debts with iTunes gift cards.

Police report an increase in calls claiming to be from the tax agency using threatening language. Victims have been threatened with court charges, jail or deportation.

On June 14, police responded to a North Vancouver retail store with claims of a customer attempting to purchase thousands of dollars in iTunes gift cards.

In October of last year, Surrey resident Leticia Dayrit told Global News how she fell victim to the same scam—losing close to $4,000.

WATCH: B.C. woman loses thousands to CRA iTunes gift card scam

Click to play video: 'Canadians have lost millions in iTunes gift card scam'
Canadians have lost millions in iTunes gift card scam

“The guy kept telling me if I don’t pay, the CRA will be here any minute with police and they will put me in jail,” Dayrit said.

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Staff at retail stores are encouraged to alert management of any unusually large request of gift cards and notify police immediately.

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“Police cannot emphasize strongly enough that no one should be falling victim to these ruthless scams,” said Supt. Chris Kennedy, Officer in Charge of the North Vancouver RCMP.

Canada Revenue Agency will never ask you for information about your passport, health card or driver’s licence.

To protect yourself, RCMP recommend asking the following questions:

  • Is there a reason that the CRA may be calling?
  • Am I confident I know who is asking for the information?
  • Do I have an outstanding tax balance?
  • Is the requester asking for information I know the CRA already has on file for me?

With files from Anne Drewa

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