Tax scam attempted on Gabriola by caller claiming to be with CRA

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Tuesday, March 21 2017

Gabriolan Manfred Tempelmayr was recently the target in a scam which continues to pop up during tax time.

He explained in an email sent to the Sounder that he had received a telephone call (they left a phone message and he returned the call) from someone claiming to be from the Canada Revenue Agency who said a warrant was being issued for his arrest because of unpaid taxes of about $6700. 

The caller said there were four violations of Canada’s tax laws and Tempelmayr was going to be arrested.

“I agreed to surrender myself to the local RCMP detachment. I almost suggested that I pay the $6700 and fight it later to avoid being arrested. I’m glad I didn’t. 

“Prior to going to the RCMP station I called Bill Pope [Gabriola Law] who told me it was probably a scam. That was confirmed by the RCMP but by then I was very upset. I believe this scam targets seniors (like me) who often provide banking and other information because they are alarmed and threatened.”

Tempelmayr said the caller identified himself as Officer Danny Foster, although English was clearly not his first language, and gave his phone number as 623-239-1943.

The Canada Revenue Agency has a lengthy website devoted to fraudulent scams attempted in the Agency’s name. On the site, the CRA states, “Taxpayers should be vigilant when they receive, either by telephone, mail, text message or email, a fraudulent communication that claims to be from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) requesting personal information such as a social insurance number, credit card number, bank account number or passport number.”

To identify communications not from the CRA, be aware of these guidelines:

If you receive a call saying you owe money to the CRA, call the CRA or check your online CRA account to be sure.

For those who have signed up for online mail from the CRA, the Agency will do the following:

- send a registration confirmation email to the address you provided for online mail service for an individual or a business; and

- send an email to the address you provided to notify you when new online mail is available to view in the CRA’s secure online services portal.

The CRA will not do the following:

- send email with a link and ask you to divulge personal or financial information;

- ask for personal information of any kind by email or text message;

- request payments by prepaid credit cards;

- give taxpayer information to another person, unless formal authorization is provided by the taxpayer; 

- leave personal information on an answering machine. 

When in doubt, ask yourself the following:

Did I sign up to receive online mail through My Account, My Business Account, or Represent a Client?

Did I provide my email address on my income tax and benefit return to receive mail online?

Am I expecting more money from the CRA?

Does this sound too good to be true?

Is the requester asking for information I would not provide in my tax return?

Is the requester asking for information I know the CRA already has on file for me?

When in doubt, take down the name and number of the caller, and say you will call the CRA back.

For anyone who suspects they have been a victim of fraud, file a report to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online or by calling 1-888-495-8501.