New phone scams are hitting Langley residents hard and police want to warn people not to fall for it and call to report it.
Recently, several Langley residents have received suspicious phone calls from an unknown caller who alleges to be an officer from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The male caller says that a review of the person’s previous year’s taxes shows their account to be in $3,000 in arrears. The caller threatens that the debt must be paid within a half hour and if not, it will result in his or her arrest.
In some cases, the fraudster is choosing to call people with an ethnic last name and threatening deportation if they don’t pay up.
The resident is then instructed to go to a local store and purchase a prepaid credit card and call back with the card number and the PIN (Personal Identification Number).
The call is coming from a prepaid cellphone making it impossible to track and the prepaid credit card is also untraceable, said police.
“We’ve had six reports of this scam just this week,” said Langley RCMP Cpl. Holly Marks.
Similar occurrences have taken place in other jurisdictions in the Lower Mainland with a variety of telephone numbers and circumstances. In North Vancouver, fraudsters represented themselves as police officers and may suggest the unsuspecting citizen can avoid arrest by paying up. Recently, in Surrey, residents have been getting calls from a fraudster claiming to be a CRA officer saying the taxpayer may receive a refund or benefit and then steals the victim’s identity.
Fortunately, the Langley residents being called realized this was likely a scam and called police.
“This is exactly what you should do,” said Marks.
Langley lawyer Rebecca Darnell’s office was hit by the scam on Thursday, but office staff didn’t fall for it and passed on information to the police about the attempted scammer. See this Facebook post for more.
The caller, named Allen O’Connor, threatened to have one of her staff arrested and have Darnell’s business licence taken away.
Langley RCMP can be reached at 604-532-3200.