Canadian residents & taxpayers should be aware as tax scammers are targeting the police department non-emergency phone number to swindle taxpayers.
Recently, the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) announced that tax scammers have targeted their non-emergency phone number 604-717-3321. This number is used only for reporting non-emergency police situations. However, tax scammers are impersonating as the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), and using this non-emergency phone number to call taxpayers and obtain money from them.
Here is an overview of the VPD tax scam incident and some preventive tips to avoid falling victim.
Vancouver Police Department Non-Emergency Line Tax Scam & Prevention Tips
In the current tax scam situation, the tax scam artists have manipulated their calling system to display the Vancouver Police Department’s Non-Emergency number as the caller. The individual answering the call, if the target, is asked to make an online payment of a certain sum of unpaid taxes. If the target refuses to pay, the caller then results to empty threats of drastic consequences.
If you receive a call saying it is from the Vancouver or any other police department, asking you to make an immediate payment for unpaid taxes, provide account details, or other financial information to forward a tax refund that you qualify for, please keep the following points in mind:
- Firstly, the phone number 604-717-3321 is only for reporting non-emergency police situations and no calls are made from the number on behalf of any government or other organization.
- Secondly, the CRA never requests prepaid credit cards, passport, health card, or driver’s licence information, nor ask for immediate tax payments.
- The CRA will also not share the taxpayer’s information with a third party without permission from the individual or under specific government/legal orders.
- Any CRA agent will not leave personal information on answering machines or request that taxpayers do the same.
- Lastly all details related to your taxes, whether it is a tax refund or tax dues, or reassessments will be available on CRA’s online portal – the ‘My Account’ page and ‘MyCRA’ mobile application.
Additionally, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is there a reason that the CRA may be calling? Do I have an outstanding tax balance?
- Is the caller asking for information I would not include with my tax return?
- Is the caller asking for information I know the CRA already has on file for me?
- How did the caller get my email address or phone number?
- Am I confident I know who is asking for the information?
AG Tax professionals had earlier informed about the Canadian Interac Text Message and E-mail Tax Scam. As Canadian tax practitioners, it is our duty to inform and keep our clients and other taxpayers up-to-date with these tax scams to prevent them from falling for these tax traps.
Always remember that if the CRA wishes to contact you, they will issue notice and letters, which will be mailed to your address saved with the CRA, and a copy of this notice will be available on your tax account ‘MyCRA’ webpage. No matter what the situation, always refrain from divulging personal information over calls or unknown e-mails, or making immediate payments due to the fear of imprisonment or other threats over the call or mail.
Having said that, if you have faced any other form of tax fraud or doubt a text message, e-mail, or phone call that you have received, you should report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre or call the toll free number 1-888-495-8501.
This number can also be used to find out about on-going tax scams. Finally, do not forget to reach out the police if you think you may have unknowingly shared your personal or financial information with tax scammers.
AG TAX LLP CAN HELP
If you have any other tax-related queries, and/or need assistance with tax planning/filing please contact AG Tax. Our tax professionals are highly-experienced with U.S. and Canadian tax laws and can provide you the right guidance to handle your tax situation.
Aylett Grant Tax LLP is a full service accounting firm with a dedicated team of experts, who are highly-qualified and experienced in handling situations related to U.S., Canada and other international tax laws.
We can assist with:
- Canadian Personal and corporate tax returns
- Cross Border Taxation and Business Planning
- Personal and Corporate Taxation
- Disclosure of Foreign Assets and other information filings
- Retirement planning
- Estate Planning, Inheritance tax advice
To obtain a quote or to arrange for a consultation to discuss your tax related queries, please contact us at:
- 604-538-8735 (Greater Vancouver Area, BC)
- 780-702-2732 (Greater Edmonton Area, AB)
Disclaimer: The information in this publication is accurate as of the time of its publication. AG Tax assumes no responsibility for changes to tax legislation subsequent to the publication of this document. The information provided is for general information purposes only and should not be acted upon without seeking professional advice. If you would like to engage our services, please contact our staff and obtain authorization to send our firm confidential information. A client relationship is not created by the transmission of information. A client relationship is only formed with our firm when a scope and engagement letter signed by the firm and the potential client detailing the terms of engagement is present.