Call centers used by scammers contacting Canadians under the pretense that they are with the CRA were raided by the police in October, possibly putting a stop to suspected illegal centres that are involved with fraud.
Call Centres Raided
Several call centres were raided by the Indian police resulting in the seizure of equipment used for fraud and arrest of suspected perpetrators. This is a huge development in the investigation of the rampant cases of CRA fraud that have been targeting unsuspecting Canadians over the years. Combined loses from CRA scam cases is estimated to be in the millions of dollars.
Noida Station Chief Ajay Pal Sharma says that the raids are just the beginning and that they will be conducting more raids aimed at other illegal call centres operating in their city. At present time, 28 people have been arrested including 2 who are considered as kingpins of the operation. The suspects are young and are mostly in their 20s. They will most likely face fraud charges and serve some jail time.
International Police Effort
The recent events are the result of the cooperation between Indian police and Canadian police. Canadian police went to Noida, a suburb in New Delhi India, after a CBC Marketplace investigation revealed the location where scammers are operating. An RCMP officer in India then contacted Indian authorities in cooperation with the FBI to plan the raids.
RCMP financial crimes head Supt. Peter Payne says that they are determined to take the scammers down and that it is only a matter of time before they track down other the fraudsters who are involved in CRA scam operations.
It is believed that dozens of fraudulent call centres are operating in various cities in India complete with managers and access to technology that allows them to continue their fraud while avoiding detection. Indian security observers divulged that it is possible that some of these centres are operating with police approval.
A spreadsheet containing the details of more than 600 Canadian scam victims was found in one of the raided facilities, a testament to how rampant and serious the situation is. Meanwhile, arrested suspects were paraded on national television in India to send a message to other perpetrators of the same fraud.
Beware of CRA Scam
The CRA scam works with the use of spoofing technology that makes the Indian callers seem like they are from Canada. They tell the victims that they are from the CRA and claim that the victim owes a lot of money in taxes and that they can be arrested or imprisoned if they don’t cooperate and resolve the matter quickly. The victims are then made to pay what they supposedly owe via iTunes, gift cards, Bitcoins, or some other forms of payment. The CRA says that they will never threaten taxpayers over the phone and will never ask for tax payment using unofficial methods.
Have you been a victim of CRA scam or any other scam? Make sure that you avoid fraud by keeping yourself informed about the latest fraud news in Canada. If you need help investigating a possible fraud, contact us and we’ll talk to you about your options.