Canadians tuning out real CRA agents because of CRA phone scammers

The CRA and the RCMP hosted briefing in Ottawa as they try to crack down on call centres loaded with fraudsters who phone Canadians

The Canada Revenue Agency says so many Canadians get calls from scammers pretending to be tax enforcers that real tax agents are having trouble reaching people.

The CRA and the RCMP say in a briefing in Ottawa Wednesday that they are trying to crack down on call centres loaded with fraudsters who phone Canadians, say they owe back taxes, and threaten they better pay the money back. Some people are so used to receiving the fraudulent calls that they assume any communication from the tax-collection agency is bogus.

With help from police in India, the Mounties say they have dismantled three major operations there and arrested a dozen people here in Canada who are involved in the scheme. The RCMP has counted 4,000 victims who have lost $15 million. Virtually none of the money has been recovered.

READ MORE: Police say story of pretend cops ‘arresting’ woman in CRA scam fake

Tammy Branch, a director-general at the tax agency, says the CRA will never call or leave voicemails using aggressive language or threatening arrest.

Branch says agents will sometimes phone when they’re looking for more information but requests for payment are always in writing.

Staff-Sgt. Ken Derakhshan of the RCMP says falling for a scam can be financially and psychologically devastating. The RCMP say newcomers to Canada, especially people who don’t speak English or French, can be especially vulnerable.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Giants wrap southern swing with 6-4 win in Spokane

The Langley-based hockey team defeated the Chiefs Friday night.

Charges upgraded against mother of murdered Langley girl

Kerryann Lewis now faces first- rather than second-degree murder in the death of Aaliyah Rosa.

WATCH: Farm Country Brewing in Langley City expected to open in summer

Farm Country Brewing is currently under construction and is planned to open in summer 2019.

LETTER: Langley/Surrey shortchanged on transit for Vancouver

Funding to get SkyTrain to Langley City could come from not undergrounding Vancouver’s extension.

LETTER: Area letter writer puts Trump government shutdown in perspective

A Maple Ridge letter writer is critical of Hillary Clinton’s comments about the shutdown.

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Most Read