Canada Revenue and Utilities scam on the rise in Ottawa
(Ottawa)—The Ottawa Police Service Organized Fraud Section has seen an increase in reports of the Canada Revenue /utilities scam.
The scam involves victims receiving phone calls from persons identifying themselves as Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) employees. They inform the victims that they owe the government money for back taxes and indicate to them that payment must be made immediately or they will be arrested.
Victims are directed to go to the nearest store and purchase “Visa Pay Power Cards” in various amounts. Once purchased, the victims are contacted again and asked for the card number and the security codes for payment of their “debt”. The suspects then access the cards and withdraw the funds purchased by the victim.
An alternate variation of the scam is a person calling and indicating that an immediate payment is required for hydro/water or the utility will be disconnected forthwith. Payment is again requested via the Visa Pay Power Cards.
“The public should be suspicious of any phone calls demanding immediate payment via this method of payment,” said Sgt. Mitch Proteau, Fraud Section, Ottawa Police Service. “The Ottawa Police recommends that any person contacted about an unpaid bill should contact the utility (or CRA) using the publicly available telephone number to verify their account status and the legitimacy of the call they received.”
Anyone with information regarding this type of fraud is asked to call Ottawa Police Fraud Section at 613-236-1222, ext. 5162. Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers at 613-233-8477(TIPS), toll free at 1-800-222-8477 or by downloading the Ottawa Police iOS app.
Sgt. Mitch Proteau
Tel: 613-236-1222, ext. 5162