The person calling began to threaten the OPP civilian employee that if she did not send money to him, terrible things would happen to her
With tax season on the horizon OPP will be receiving calls from citizens who have been contacted and in some cases, have lost money. If you are contacted over the phone by someone saying they are the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) here are some tips taken right from the CRA website:
- never requests prepaid credit cards;
- never asks for information about your passport, health card, or driver's licence;
- never shares your taxpayer information with another person, unless you have provided the appropriate authorization; and
- never leaves personal information on your answering machine or asks you to leave a message containing your personal information on an answering machine.
When in doubt, ask yourself the following:
- Is there a reason that the CRA may be calling? Do I have a tax balance outstanding?
- Is the requester asking for information I would not include with my tax return?
- Is the requester asking for information I know the CRA already has on file for me?
- How did the requester get my email address or telephone number?
- Am I confident that I know who is requesting the information?
When in doubt hang up the phone and call the CRA phone number included on the previous year tax returns or documentation received from the CRA. The number provided on the CRA website is 1-800-959-8281 for individual inquiries.
This story that happened in the late fall and speaks to the randomness of these calls.
A would be fraudster called the Orillia OPP detachment and was greeted by an administrative assistant with "good morning Orillia OPP". The person calling began to threaten the civilian employee that if she did not send money to him, terrible things would happen to her and he was going to be the one to do it.
The randomness comes from the fact that most people from Ontario understand that the OPP stands for Ontario Provincial Police. Many times these calls originate from foreign countries and are intended to scare you into sending money. If you receive one of these calls hang up and call the Canadian Anti-Fraud number at 1-888-495-8501.
If you or someone you know receives an e-mail, phone call or letter demanding money, asking for money, threatening you for money or saying the most terrible thing has happened and they need money to help a loved one please call someone you trust and talk it over with them. Think about the following when receiving an e-mail, phone call or letter:
- Is it reasonable? Would a police agency call you for money to bail someone out? Would someone notify you of a million dollar win over e-mail?
- If it's too good to be true it probably isn't true.
- Just hang up then report it.
- Call someone else and tell them the story before sending money.
- Call the agency that is calling you; if you receive an e-mail asking for updated information call the bank or go to the bank and talk to a live person.
- If there is any doubt call the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
- Please talk to your relatives about frauds especially elderly relatives as they are more likely to be victims.
Sadly each year Canadians are defrauded of millions of dollars.
If you receive a call, e-mail or letter and know it's a scam please hang up, delete the e-mail or shred the letter. If you have been the victim of a fraud no matter how small please contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.
Additional resources for business accounting tips are available here.