March is Fraud Prevention Month

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Toronto, March 4 (CINEWS): With March being Fraud Prevention Month, Investigators from the Peel Regional Police Fraud Bureau are once again remind the public of the ongoing calls citizens are receiving with regards to the Canada Revenue Agency / Immigration scam. During this tax season police are urging citizens to be extra vigilant of suspicious phone calls.
Police continue to receive reports from residents who have received phone calls from persons posing as Government Officials from various federal agencies including, and not limited to, the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), Service Canada and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The callers will indicate that a tax audit has been conducted and outstanding taxes are owed or in the case of Immigration that there are outstanding fees due to incorrect information provided on their application. In both cases the caller makes threats to the victim that a warrant for their arrest is outstanding and will be executed if payment is not made immediately.
The caller will go on to provide very specific payment instructions, which may involve making Western Union or Money Gram transfers, sending bank transfers, or buying prepaid credit cards in order to make a payment. In recent incidents, taxis have been sent to the victim’s residence to facilitate taking them to Western Union or a financial institution. Victim’s have also been directed to wire funds overseas.

How to protect yourself:

• Canadian Government Officials WILL NOT contact you directly and demand money in exchange for securing your Canadian Status.
• The Canadian Government DOES NOT accept payments via Western Union, Money Gram or Prepaid Credit Cards and would never ask you to wire such payments to a foreign country.
• DO NOT take immediate action. VERIFY that what you are being told is the truth.
• Beware of Caller ID spoofing as fraudsters can manipulate call displays or provide real government agency contact numbers in order to appear legitimate.
• If you wish to verify information do not contact back on any number provided by the caller. Use phone numbers provided on the Government of Canada’s official website only.

Every year, thousands of Canadians fall victim to fraud amassing losses in the millions of dollars. Regardless of age, gender and location, everyone can take basic steps to better protect themselves from becoming victims of fraud. Some basic tips include never giving out personal information at your door, over the phone, through social media, or on dating websites.
The top scams are:
• Emergency/Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) scams
• Romance Scam
• Microsoft/Computer scams
• Phishing/Bank Web Site scams
• Lottery scams

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