Income tax scammers defraud woman of $25,000

Abbotsford victim was told she would be arrested if she didn't pay taxes she owed.

An Abbotsford woman was taken for $25,000 on Thursday in the income tax scam that police have been warning the public about.

Const. Paul Walker said the scammers used the same tactic that has snared other victims.

This involved a caller posing as an employee with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), saying the woman owed back taxes and, if she didn’t pay by a certain time, the police would be sent to arrest her.

The woman was instructed to go to a store, load $25,000 onto pre-paid Visa credit cards and then call back a number that was provided to her.

She was instructed to provide the Visa number on the front of the cards, as well as the PIN number on the back.

This enabled the scammers to use those credit card numbers online, likely to obtain cash advances, with no ability to identify the recipient.

Walker said the woman realized she had been scammed after she shared the story with family members, who had read about the fraud through news articles earlier in the week.

They then reported the matter to police.

Walker said, since police issued public notice of the scam on Tuesday, they have received 20 complaints a day from people receiving the fraudulent calls.

He said many of these complaints have been coming from the South Asian community.

Walker said in another instance this week, a woman was defrauded of $4,000 after the caller threatened to have her son deported if she didn’t pay her back taxes.

The scam was first reported in Abbotsford in December but has picked up this month during tax season.

The APD and the CRA continue to remind people to be cautious of anyone calling and claiming to be with the CRA, particularly if they are being aggressive or threatening.

Anyone who wants to verify the authenticity of a CRA phone number can contact 1-800-959-8282 or visit cra-arc.gc.ca/cntct/phn-eng.html.

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