(UPDATE: June 22, 2018) - People can breathe a sigh of relief today, as a claim made by a B.C. resident involving fake police officers has now been confirmed to be false.
Yesterday, police issued a warning to the public after a Vancouver woman reported being scammed out of $6,000. The woman said at the time that she was arrested by two individuals posing as members of the RCMP and was forced to withdraw money from a bank near Cambie Street and West King Avenue.
Now police are saying that the 58-year-old woman exaggerated her report, and at no time was she physically approached by people claiming to be police officers.
Major Crime detectives have confirmed that the woman was scammed out of $6,000, but at no time did she deal with anyone in person. This CRA scam was no different than other telephone scams reported in the past.
“Based on the seriousness of the information originally reported by the victim, a team of Major Crime investigators were reassigned to focus on and prioritize this incident. Detectives confirmed this morning that the victim was embarrassed for falling for the scam and panicked, deciding to exaggerate her story to include fake police,” says Constable Jason Doucette, VPD. “Our officers will continue with their investigation and will consider available options.”
The CRA will not threaten people with arrest, send the police to collect funds, or accept Bitcoin and gift cards as payment. Visit the Government of Canada website for additional ways to protect yourself against fraud.
Anyone who has been a victim of a CRA scam, or any crime, is encouraged to make a report with their local police.
(Original Story: June 21, 2018)
Police are warning the public after a woman was defrauded out of $6,000 by scammers posing as Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) personnel and as police officers who “arrested” her as part of the scam.
At around 4 p.m. on Wednesday, a 58-year-old woman in Vancouver received a phone call from someone claiming to be from the CRA.
The caller told her there was a warrant for her arrest related to a balance-owed from her taxes. The woman was then connected over the phone to another fraudster claiming to be an RCMP officer. This person was able to manipulate the woman into providing personal information, including her location at the time.
Next, two men, in what appeared to be RCMP uniforms, arrived at the victim’s location and handcuffed her and placed her in the backseat of an older-model sedan. She was persuaded to withdraw $6,000 from a bank near Cambie Street and West King Edward Avenue and was then driven to a Bitcoin machine in Surrey to deposit the funds. Once the transaction was complete, the suspects left the area without the victim.
The first suspect is described as a white male, in his 30s, 5’11”, with average build, light brown hair and a full, trimmed beard. The second man is described as a white male, 25 to 27 years old, short brown hair and clean shaven.
Both suspects were wearing what looked like short-sleeved, RCMP shirts and blue pants with yellow stripes down the sides. Both were wearing police duty belts, including what appeared to be firearms.
The suspects were driving a black, older model, four-door vehicle with worn-out seats.
“This incident has taken the CRA scam to a new level. Taking physical control of someone like this can be considered kidnapping,” says Constable Jason Doucette, VPD. “We are reminding people to hang-up on anyone claiming to be from the CRA. If you want to double check, call the agency at a publicly available number.”
The CRA will not threaten customers with arrest, send the police to collect funds, or accept Bitcoin and gift cards as payment. Visit the Government of Canada website for additional ways to protect yourself against fraud.
Anyone with information about those involved in this incident is asked to contact the VPD’s Major Crime Section at 604-717-2541 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.