BRITISH COLUMBIA
01/19/2018 15:46 EST | Updated 01/19/2018 16:35 EST

Bitcoin CRA Scam Warning Issued By B.C. Police After North Vancouver Man Falls For It

The agency will also never call and threaten you.

A sign is pictured in front of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) national headquarters in Ottawa, Ont., March 13, 2017.
Chris Wattie/Reuters
A sign is pictured in front of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) national headquarters in Ottawa, Ont., March 13, 2017.

Canada Revenue Agency scammers are getting creative.

Police in North Vancouver are warning the public to only pay their taxes in, er, normal money after a resident was swindled into sending $3000 to a fraudster via a Bitcoin terminal.

They say the victim received a threatening phone call on Thursday from someone who claimed to be from the CRA. The caller told him he'd go to jail if he didn't pay $8000 in back taxes right away and that the cops would show up if he hung up.

The man could only afford $3000, so he did what he was told and sent the money using a Bitcoin reference code number. After he forked it over, he realized it was a scam.

Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images
tacks of bitcoins sit near green lights on a data cable terminal inside a communications room at an office in this arranged photograph in London, U.K., on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017.

Cpl. Richard De Jong reminded the public in a press release that the CRA doesn't accept Bitcoin as payment. Also, the tax agency will never call and threaten you, he said.

The North Vancouver man isn't the first to get caught up in this sort of fraud.

CBC News reported in November that some southern Ontario victims had lost $340,000 to a Bitcoin tax scam.

If you get a call saying you owe money, get in touch with the CRA to see if it's authentic at 1-800-959-8281 if you're an individual, or 1-800-959-5525 if you're a business. You can also check My Account on the CRA website. The agency has more tips to protect yourself against fraud here.

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