Beware the so-called ‘CRA’ phone scam
Chartered Accountant Paul Keul from S+C Partners in Meadowvale circulated the thoughts below to his distribution list in 2014. It outlines what seems to be a fraud scam suggesting the caller is with the CRA, but this “CRA” appears to have nothing to do with the Canada Revenue Agency. I repeat it because the same scam left a message on our phone number, and I spoke to one of these weasels on a subsequent call. Here is Paul’s account:
I received a phone message at my home from “Kevin Jones”, an individual with a Caribbean accent, claiming to be a Canada Revenue Agency senior agent. The message indicated that a lawsuit had been launched in my name, and it was urgent that I or my attorney contact the CRA immediately at 519-900-5023.
Note from Bob: The latest incarnation of this scam is that the caller’s number, probably spoofed, is from the 613 (Ottawa) area code, and the caller identifies himself as “calling from the CRA, that is the Canada Revenue Agency.” The caller than says that an arrest warrant has been issued for your name.
As a CPA, CA specializing in income tax, I was suspicious of this unusual message, but called the number to investigate. “Mr. Jones” answered the phone and again identified himself as a senior CRA agent. He asked if I was familiar with the CRA, or if I needed him to explain who they are.
I responded that I am quite familiar with the CRA. When he asked why, I asked him to first provide me with his badge number. This question caught him off guard, and I had to repeat the question. He then provided number 7181141.
At that point, I indicated I am a Chartered Accountant specializing in tax, and thus, very familiar with the CRA. Kevin then suggested I must know there was a substantial tax balance owing by me. When I said there was not, he thanked me and hung up.
A second attempt to contact the phone number (519-900-5023) led to an answering machine indicating I had reached Kevin Jones of the “Credit Revenue Agency”.
This is an attempted fraud, which the police are aware of, but are having trouble shutting down, because the criminals are using an untraceable VOIP line. If you receive a similar call, please contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre with details, so that the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre can accumulate as much info as possible on this (and similar) frauds. This was what the Peel Police directed me to do.