Police warn of tax season scammers

Police are warning the public about a recent scam where the caller claims to be from the Canada Revenue Agency.

Police say to date, the victims who are being targeted are of East Indian descent.

Sgt. Mike Noonan with the Fraud Unit told CFRA in these cases, the person calling is aggressive and tells the victim that they owe unpaid taxes.

"This person is extremely aggressive," he said. "No representative of a Canadian government department would act like this."

"The demands being made were quite frankly outrageous - threatening to arrest them immediately, to seize bank accounts, I think in some cases even threatened immigration status if that was applicable," he added.

In these cases, the victim is asked to go to stores and buy pre-loaded gift cards and provide the card's information to the caller.

Sgt. Noonan said the suspects could be using a phone book to choose their victims.

"We're only suspecting at this point, but I think these are listed numbers, so they may strictly be going by last names," he said.

These calls ring up with the 6-1-3 area code, but police don't believe the calls are originating from within Canada.

He said luckily not many people have fallen victim to the calls, however as of Monday afternoon, police had received around 14 reports of these scams.

Sgt. Noonan said this scam is especially concerning considering it is tax season.

"The timing's obviously no coincidence here," he said. "They're preying on that. They're counting on people to be kind of stressed about that to begin with and then they take that opportunity to victimize these people."

Anyone who may have been a victim of these types of calls is asked to contact police.

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