The RCMP is warning the Peace Country that a telephone tax scam has made its way back into the area.
Police in High Prairie says they’ve responded to a number of reports in the last few weeks of a caller claiming the victim owes money in taxes which must be paid as soon as possible. Authorities say in one instance, the suspect advised the victim to purchase Google Play cards in order to repay money to Canada Revenue Agency.
Mounties say this is nothing new. However, with the use of “Call Spoofing” over the internet, scammers can now call any number from a fake number that looks local.
Officials say residents can protect themselves in a number of ways if they feel they’re being targetted by scammers over the phone by remembering the following tips:
- No legitimate government agency or business will demand payment in gift cards or prepaid credit cards. These methods are used by criminals in order to hide their activities from police.
- If you receive a call from someone claiming you owe money, get as much information from them as possible and tell them you will call them back. Find the government agency’s phone number through a trusted source like a phone book or official website and call the department back. Don’t trust the phone number or email from the caller until you have verified that they are who they say they are.
- Do not share any personal information with the caller, such as confirming your name, social insurance number, address.