We noted in our newsletter last summer that fraudulent phone calls from imposters posing as individuals from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) were on the rise. Since then, the level of harassment has increased dramatically. In June of this year, the RCMP in Penticton reported that 51 people contacted their office in one day to inform them that they had received a phone call from people posing as employees of the Canada Revenue Agency.  nl1
Unfortunately, this means that these individuals must be having some level of success, as this has become one of the most common phone scams in Canada today.  Many of our clients have  reported receiving these calls. Often times the taxpayer will receive a recorded message. The message will warn the individual that they have a debt with the CRA that must be paid immediately.
The message will go on to say that if the taxpayer does not return the call, the police will be coming to arrest them for not making this payment.
It is important to note that the CRA will NEVER leave personal information on an answering machine message. In other cases, it can be an actual caller. These people can be aggressive and belligerent. They will usually want to receive payment in the form of Western Union transfers, gift cards, or prepaid credit cards. In most instances, there is very little that can be done about these phone calls. The CRA will advise taxpayers to call the Canadian Anti-Fraud centre. People can also call the RCMP, although there is little the  RCMP can do to stop the calls or recover lost money.