CRA scammers bilk Victoria man out of $11,000. Here’s how you can avoid his fate
Scammers claiming to work for the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) bilked a Victoria man out of $11,000.
They did it through a scheme that involved a Bitcoin ATM, a man pretending to be a police officer and a bank branch, until a teller grew wise to the deception.
The scam began on Wednesday night, when the man was contacted by fraudsters who claimed to work for the CRA.
CRA scams often see fraudsters tell victims they owe taxes to the government. They’ll say a judgment has been rendered against them, that a warrant has been issued and that officers are on their way to arrest them, said a Victoria police news release.
This time, fraudsters pointed the victim to a Bitcoin ATM that was located at a business in the 100-block of Gorge Road East.
The victim was instructed to make a number of transfers that would cover the amount of money he owed, as well as a “deposit” that would make sure he showed up in court.
These transfers cost him $11,000.
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A different fraudster then called the man claiming to be a member of the Victoria Police Department and told him to go to a bank to collect more money — and to stay on the phone as he obtained it.
A teller at the bank realized a fraud was taking place, and took the phone. The fraudster hung up when confronted, police said.
The victim is unlikely to see that money ever again.
But there are a few ways that you can avoid a similar fate.
How to avert a CRA scammer
First of all, know that the CRA hardly ever contacts people over the phone; they’ll likely reach you via a letter.
The agency also doesn’t take Bitcoin payments. Scammers have also coaxed victims into paying through credit cards, gift cards and iTunes cards.
A scammer will also use what police called “social engineering” techniques to build a sense of urgency.
That can include aggressive language, threats that victims will lose their homes or businesses, as well as repeated calls and refusing to allow victims to hang up the phone.
Police urge potential victims to hang up the phone immediately when contacted by a scammer.
You can also call the CRA itself at one of the numbers listed here.
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