REGINA — Seventeen individuals in Saskatchewan have been a victim to the Canada Revenue Agency fraud with nearly $70,000 in reported losses since the beginning of 2016.
Mounties say they have received 850 complaints in the province, and that doesn't include complaints that have been reported to other police services.
Sgt. Colleen Lyons says the callers threaten arrest, legal action, seizure of homes, vehicles and other assets if payment isn't made.
She says the callers will often be aggressive and sometimes even vulgar in their language, particularly if the victim does not comply with their demands.
Complainants have reported that callers can spoof local telephone numbers so the call appears to come from the victim's community or even an RCMP detachment.
However, most of the calls come from outside the country with area codes outside of Saskatchewan or 1-800 numbers.
Complainants have also said callers have even identified themselves with the name and rank of a police officer and a badge number.
"The RCMP wants to remind the public never to divulge personal or financial information to unsolicited callers."
"The RCMP wants to ensure the public is aware that the CRA will never contact people by telephone, text or email and ask for personal information or demand payment for taxes in the form of prepaid credit, iTunes or other gift cards,'' says Lyons.
"They will not threaten or use inappropriate language.''
RCMP are asking if anyone does receive a call from a supposed CRA agent or the police threatening legal action if payment is not made, they should note the name, phone number and any specific details of the call and report immediately to their local police service or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
"The RCMP wants to remind the public never to divulge personal or financial information to unsolicited callers,'' says Lyons. "That information requested could include full name, date of birth, maiden name of mother, Social Insurance Number, bank accounts, credit card numbers, passwords, or address.''