The Burin Peninsula RCMP is advising the public of an increase in online, telephone and mail scams.
A scam, involving people representing themselves as the Canada Revenue Agency and demanding money be paid or the police will be contacted, is continuing throughout the province.
The Burin RCMP detachment says it has received multiple calls and complaints over the past week and wish to remind the public that these actions are fraudulent.
Some recent telephone scams involve threatening taxpayers or using aggressive and forceful language to scare them into paying fictitious debt to the CRA. Victims receive a phone call from a person claiming to work for the CRA and saying that taxes are owed. The caller requests immediate payment by credit card or convinces the victims to purchase a prepaid credit card and to call back immediately with the information. The taxpayer is often threatened with court charges, jail or deportation.
To help identify possible scams, the RCMP has provided guidelines online at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/nwsrm/lrts/2015/l150610-eng.html
It says the CRA never requests prepaid credit cards; never asks for information about your passport, health card, or driver's licence; never shares your taxpayer information with another person, unless you have provided the appropriate authorization; and never leaves personal information on your answering machine or asks you to leave a message containing your personal information on an answering machine.
When in doubt, the RCMP advises that you ask yourself:
• Is there a reason that the CRA may be calling? Do I have a tax balance outstanding?
• Is the requester asking for information I would not include with my tax return?
• Is the requester asking for information I know the CRA already has on file for me?
• How did the requester get my email address or telephone number?
• Am I confident I know who is asking for the information?
If you get such a call, the RCMP says you should hang up and report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca or toll free at 1-888-495-8501.