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RCMP offers up tips to avoid tax season scams

The Grande Prairie RCMP is reminding residents to keep their wits about them this tax season as scammers continue to target residents in the Peace Country and across the province.

Sergeant Shawn Graham says fraudsters, especially this time of year, often try to pass themselves off as an employee of the Canada Revenue Agency. He adds that even if they are convincing, there are steps people can take to protect themselves and their personal information.

“They’re pretty crafty, and sometimes it looks like the number is from a local agency or something like that, but you still need to take the time to verify the caller,” he explains. “When you get those unsolicited phone calls, you didn’t initiate the call, and you don’t know who you’re talking to, it’s probably best to ignore that contact.”

Graham says, despite some of the attempts looking a little more sophisticated, he believes a couple of easy-to-remember tips could help those who may get targeted.

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“If you’re unsure if it’s a scam or not, check with family, check with friends, go to the Government of Canada’s website to learn about the common scam types and how to protect yourself against those scams.”

He adds some other things to keep an eye out for include online or over the phone requests for immediate payments or money transfers and recorded phone messages or voicemails from banks or government agencies.

In 2020, the RCMP reports investigating a total of 10,504 claims of fraud across Alberta.

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