July 27, 2015
Phone calls from fraudsters — especially those directed at seniors — have been proliferating, not only in Montreal, but across the country.
Recently, The Suburban reported on a call a long time Canadian citizen received from an individual claiming that because she did not fill out a particular document, she was about to be picked up and detained. The call was fake.
There is also an ongoing scam of seniors being called by fraudsters claiming to be a grandchild, and needing money to get out of a precarious situation.
Hampstead lawyer Harold Staviss, who has been working on the issue of language respect for English with Côte St. Luc councillor Ruth Kovac, alerted us to a more recent proliferation of fake calls.
Staviss passed on an e-mail alert from a friend who was made aware that some people claiming to be from the Canada Revenue Agency are saying that there were issues with previous tax filings, or that arrest warrants were being issued. The caller ID apparently shows an actual CRA phone number.
Sure enough, the actual CRA issued an alert to this effect June 10, titled “Beware of new telephone scams.
“Some recent telephone scams involve threatening taxpayers or using aggressive and forceful language to scare them into paying fictitious debt to the CRA,” says the alert. “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. If you get such a call, hang up and report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
“These types of communication are not from the CRA. When the CRA calls you, it has established procedures in place to make sure your personal information is protected. If you want to confirm the authenticity of a CRA telephone number, call the CRA by using the numbers on its telephone numbers page. The number for business-related calls is 1-800-959-5525. The number for calls about individual concerns is 1-800-959-8281.”
The CRA alert points out that the agency:
  • 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.
  • For information on scams or to report deceptive telemarketing, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online at http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca or toll free at
  • 1-888-495-8501.