Strathcona County, Alberta – In the past month Strathcona County RCMP have seen another variation of the commonly known Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) scam.
Victims are being contacted by phone and told that they have overdue taxes to pay and if they don’t, they will be arrested. In this version, victims have been told to send their money using Bitcoin ATM’s. Victims are told to withdraw cash from their bank account, deposit the cash into a Bitcoin ATM which converts the cash into Bitcoin and then transfer the funds to the caller.
Unfortunately, Bitcoin is a worldwide virtual currency that is not regulated by a central body, which makes it impossible for victims to get their money back once its been deposited into a machine and transferred to a “virtual wallet.”
Police would like to again warn the public about the CRA scam and remind them that the CRA would never ask for payment to be made through gift cards or Bitcoin and would never use the phone as a first point of contact when dealing with clients.
If contacted by the CRA in such a manner, police recommend hanging up the phone, and if in any doubt, to source the true number for the CRA and make your own inquiries about the status of your account. Do not call the caller back on any phone numbers that they themselves have provided you.
For more information on scams contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online at www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca or toll free at 1-888-495-8501. If you believe you may be the victim of fraud or have given personal or financial information unwittingly, contact the Strathcona County RCMP Detachment at 780-467-7741