Mount Stewart woman threatened with arrest in CRA scam

Ryan Ross
Published on March 9, 2016

Tips to identify a scam:
- The CRA never asks for personal information by email.
- It never leaves personal information on an answering machine.
- The agency doesn't give taxpayer information to another person unless it has formal authorization.

When a woman from the Mount Stewart area got a call saying she needed to pay more than $6,000 in taxes or get arrested, she said it made her sick.

It turned out to be a scam.

The woman, who The Guardian has chosen not to identify after she said she almost fell victim to the scam, said she got a voicemail this week from someone claiming to be from the Canada Revenue Agency.

It didn't mention who the message was for, but said the recipient needed to get back to him at a phone number he provided and if they didn't the CRA would issue a warrant for their arrest, the message said.

It ended with the caller saying "Thank you and God bless you."

The woman said when she called the number she didn't give the man on the other end her name and he didn't ask for it.

Instead, he threatened to have her arrested if she didn't pay $6,428 in back taxes within a few hours.

"When you get a call like that you become very intimidated and you become scared," the woman said.

The man said the call was being monitored and if she didn't keep it confidential she would get a criminal record.

As they talked, the man told her to stay on the line while she drove to the bank to wire money.

The woman said she eventually realized something wasn't right about the call and as the they talked the scammer put her on the phone with two other men.

One of those men gave her information on where to send the money, which had an address in Texas.

The women said by the time she went into her bank she realized it was a scam.

She went inside and told the bank manager what was happening.

When the manager told the scammer no money would be transferred the man hung up.

The woman said she never thought she would be a scam victim, but luckily she didn't follow through on it.

"I was in shock that I was being fooled," she said.

Ty Stapleton also got the same message on his phone Tuesday night, but he knew it was a scam and deleted it.

Stapleton said he has spoken to the CRA before and knows the agency doesn't make those types of phone calls.

"That's not any kind of language they would use," he said.

Anyone who feels they are a victim of fraud can contact the Canadian Anti-fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.

A Mount Stewart area woman almost fell victim to a scam where someone pretending to be from the Canada Revenue Agency alleged she had back taxes owing and she would be arrested if she didn't pay up.

©Heather Taweel/The Guardian