Durham police are advising the public of an increase in Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and Social Insurance Number (SIN) scams.
The Durham Regional Police Services (DRPS) Communications/9-1-1 unit has seen an increase in calls from residents reporting to have received calls from a person claiming to be an officer from the CRA. The scammers are also asking for SIN numbers under the pretense they were compromised. In a new twist, scammers are using the police non-emergency line, 905-579-1520, to appear legitimate.
According to police, scammers often negotiate payment and suggest a lesser amount, collected by way of a third party card, gift card, credit card, pre-paid gift card or deposits into a Bitcoin ATM, installed at several locations across Durham Region.
Police are asking residents to be wary of these types of scams. Police or the CTA will never request payments by pre-paid credit cards or leave personal information on an answering machine. Residents should also remember to never give out their SIN number.
Police say there are several things residents can do to help protect themselves from fraud, including not to rely strictly on the caller display information to confirm the identity of the caller. Caller ID is a useful function, however, the information displayed can be altered.
Police also say to never provide personal information through the Internet or by email. The CRA does not ask to provide personal information by email.
Lastly, access codes, user IDs, passwords and PINs should be kept secret.
Police say these warnings should be discussed with seniors or other vulnerable people who do not have access to this information via the Internet.
For more information or to report a scam attempt, visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca or call 1-888-495-8501.
To report a fraud in Durham Region, contact DRPS at 1-888-579-1520.