Grenville County Ontario Provincial Police are cautioning the public about a scam that has targeted homes in our community and resulted in the loss of $5,600 to two victims.
iTunes gift cards are used by consumers to purchase music and movies. The CAFC has seen an increase in complaints where fraudsters request payment through the purchase of iTunes gift cards.
In 2016 alone, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre [CAFC] has received 46 complaints involving the use of iTunes gift cards as payment with losses totaling $85,041. The most common approach reported has fraudsters impersonating the real Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
Consumers receive a call or text message claiming that they owe “back taxes” as the result of an audit. The payment must be made immediately to avoid a fine. However, the recipient is told that the outstanding warrant that can be avoided if the payment is made promptly. In many cases, individuals are told they will be deported if the taxes are not paid right away. Consumers are instructed to purchase and activate iTunes gift cards and provide the codes back to the fraudsters.
Warning sign(s) – How to protect yourself:
If you are asked to pay for any service or product with an iTunes gift card, don’t do it, it’s a scam.
Ask yourself why the CRA would be asking for payment through an iTunes gift card over the phone or text message, when they already have you on file as a taxpayer.
Contact the CRA to confirm that you in fact owe back taxes, or are entitled to a refund, before providing any personal or banking information.
For more information about frauds contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at www.antifraudcentre.ca or 1-888-495-8501.
Anyone with information on the above occurrence is asked to call Grenville County O.P.P. Communication Centre at 1-888-310-1122, the Kemptville Detachment at 613-258-3441 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-(TIPS) 8477 or submit your tip on-line at www.tipsubmit.com. Crime Stoppers does not want your name, you don’t go to court, and you could earn cash reward.