If you’re tired of the pesky Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Tax Scam calls, you’ll be happy to hear that a call centre in Mumbai, India was busted for targeting North Americans.
The Better Business Bureau says the scam was number one in the nation top ten scams last year. It is believed Canadians lost nearly three million dollars to the scammers.
Police in India have arrested 70 people and are questioning hundreds more after cracking down on that call centre.
“Is this the scam where they told people to go and pay for their taxes with gift cards?” Bruce asks Brenda Neufeld.
“I don’t know if this was the gift card one,” replies Neufeld, but she says they were threatening deportation, imprisonment, or even loss of their children if they didn’t give in to demands for money.
“Their children, you’re kidding me?” says Bruce.
Neufeld wasn’t kidding “apparently a lot of people were falling for this, but it’s amazing how the number of complaints dropped after these arrests were made.”
During the first week in October, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre received 358 complaints about the CRA scam, this number dropped to just 25 in the week after the bust.
Bruce remembers a time when his friend got a call saying ‘just buy me an iTunes gift card and you’ll be fine.’ His friend didn’t fall for the scam, but Bruce sees how vulnerable people could.
“I’m glad to see they’re cracking down on this,” says Bruce.
Neufeld says scams can be both dangerous and annoying. An annoying one they have had to deal with regularly is when the caller says ‘there’s a critical problem with your PC or MAC and we need to fix it.’
If you haven’t received this phone call, consider yourself lucky.
“How many times can you phone our house?” asks Neufeld, “My husband just plays games with them, oh he has fun.”
Neufeld knows a lot of people who do the same thing as her husband, after being repeatedly called.
“I’ve never got a call talking about my computer,” says Bruce, but “they wouldn’t keep doing this if they weren’t sucking somebody in somewhere.”