Fraud affects everyone regardless of age or ethnicity. Fraudsters develop elaborate stories and scenarios in an effort to make you believe they are legitimate.
Example of a Common Fraud
Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Scam
The CRA scam is an example of a tax scam that targets Canadians by email and phone. The CRA scam has reported several different payment methods including iTunes gift cards, Steam cards (gaming gift card) and Bitcoin*. In 2017-2018, the primary source of payment demanded was in Bitcoin. 111 CRA tax scams were reported to EPS between January 1, 2017 to February 26, 2018. Seventy-nine victims of the reported incidents were contacted by phone. A total of $311,736.21 was lost in Edmonton with this scam - $243,134.00 specifically in Bitcoins.
Remember, the CRA will NEVER:
Use nasty language or threaten you
Ask for credit card information or for payments by prepaid credit cards
Ask for your personal information by email or text
The best protection against fraudsters is to arm yourself with knowledge. The more information you have on warning signs, the easier it will be to spot the scam before it's too late. “As criminals fine-tune their skills, the number of fraud cases increases,” said Det. Linda Herczeg with Economic Crimes. “They like to catch us when our guard is down and keep our minds engaged so that we overlook the red flags. The first step to protecting ourselves is to verify the information we’re given – ask questions.”
*Bitcoin allows users to buy and sell goods using digital currency, without the involvement and fees of traditional banking institutions, over a secure network that uses ground-breaking technology to track transactions and keep your funds safe.
We would like to thank the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre for their wealth of knowledge that we have been able to use on our website to provide expert advice to our citizens.
Edmonton Police Service - Economic Crimes
The Economic Crimes Section reviews and evaluates all complaints of fraud, false pretences, credit card offences, counterfeiting crimes, identity theft and perjury, and assigns them for further investigation as required.
Victims of Fraud
If you’ve been a victim of fraud, call the Edmonton Police Service immediately at 780-423-4567 or #377 from your mobile phone. If you’re a victim of fraud, do not be afraid to come forward. You are not alone. We are here to help you.
Report a Fraud
To report a fraud that you have not fallen victim to, please contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online or at 1-888-495-8501.