Fake call centres raided in India; CRA scam calls drop dramatically - InfoNews

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Fake call centres raided in India; CRA scam calls drop dramatically

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October 24, 2016 - 10:53 AM

THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - Authorities have targetted call centres in India know for using the so-called Canada Revenue Agency scam to bully, intimidate and threaten victims in Canada into paying fake debts.

RCMP say on Oct. 5, 70 suspects were arrested and hundreds detained for questioning in Thane, India at call centres reportedly employed more than 700 people.

"RCMP observed that the number of reports related to the CRA scam had significantly decreased to a small fraction of what was reported for the weeks and months leading up to these arrests," Sgt. Penny Hermann says in a RCMP release. "Though the reports have diminished, it does not necessarily mean that this scam has stopped."

Fraudsters are known to pose as employees of the CRA, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada and various police agencies.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre reports that more than 1,900 victims have given more than $5.7 million to these types of scams since January 2014. The Anti-fraud Centre also says that number only represents five per cent of actual losses.

The impersonation is happening over the phone and by email. The scammers are phishing for personal identification or asking that outstanding taxes and or fees be paid by money service business like Western Union or MoneyGram, with electronic funds transfers, pre-paid credit cards, iTunes gift cards and more recently, "Steam" cards used on gaming sites, police say.

Kamloops has seen plenty of online and telephone scams, including a local woman who lost $26,000 last week.

Over the summer, Penticton RCMP had a surge of reports in one day from fraudsters claiming to be working for the Canadian Revenue Agency.

Police say many victims never report to police. To report, call your local police detachment and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or with an online reporting tool.

After the arrests in India, police are looking for Canadian collaborators and are asking for help from the public in identifying other suspects.

Anyone with information can call the RCMP "O" Division Central Intake Unit in Toronto toll free at 1-855-253-7267.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kim Anderson or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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