Beware of taxpayer scams

Prince Rupert RCMP advised late Friday afternoon of the continued presence of the ‘taxpayer scam’ that has been hitting Canadian homes.

Scammers will impersonate Canada Revenue Agency employees and demand personal information. Police are advising people to be cautious and if you believe are victim to the scam

Prince Rupert RCMP advised late Friday afternoon of the continued presence of the ‘taxpayer scam’ that has been hitting Canadian homes from coast to coast and especially here in Prince Rupert.

“Pushy scammers impersonate CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) employees and demand either personal information or payment for a made-up fee or back taxes. They will threaten arrest — or worse — if the fee is not paid immediately,” a release outlined sent out by the RCMP last Friday.

Todd Shean, assistant commissioner with the RCMP’s Federal Policing Special Services said that to date, almost $2 million has been reported stolen by 590 individuals in the country.

“And if only five per cent of victims report their losses, we can assume that the actual total amount lost to this scam is much, much higher,” he added.

Police are reminding residents to be vigilant in countering the scammers by always verifying their tax account with the CRA through the Canada Revenue Agency’s website or to call the CRA at 1-800-959-8281.

Police also ask those who believe they have fallen victim to fraud to contact Prince Rupert RCMP and their banking institution.

Last August, the scam was reported by the Northern View after a resident detailed being contacted by the scammers.

Contact Prince Rupert RCMP at 250-624-2136.