APD warns of tax agency scam

The Abbotsford Police Department wants the public to know that a phone scam that impacted locals back in September appears to be once again targeting Abbotsford residents.

Back in September, a man posing as an employee of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) nearly scammed an Abbotsford couple out of $1,500 before the APD got involved and the transaction cancelled.

The scam has resurfaced locally, after a local resident received a call from a man claiming to work for the CRA and identifying himself as a police officer on Jan. 22. The man then proceeded to advise the victim that he was behind in taxes and needed to pay the amount right away by wiring the money to avoid being arrested and spending the weekend in jail.The man complied and subsequently lost just over $2,000.

“We are reminding citizens that police aren’t used to collect money, nor does the CRA call and pressure an individual to wire money right away to avoid being arrested,” stated the APD’s Paul Walker.

“Citizens are reminded to contact police should anything seem suspicious with the phone call you are receiving. Don’t disclose any personal information over the phone to these unknown persons and don’t be afraid to terminate the call and contact the CRA directly through the numbers available to the public via their website to confirm the validity of the call.”

In August, the CRA issued a public notice warning of such scams, saying the caller usually says taxes are owed and payment must be made immediately or they could face charges, jail or deportation.

The CRA advised that anyone getting such a call should hang up and report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre toll free at 1-888-495-8501.

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