Mississauga man charged in connection with multiple telephone scams

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The RCMP says a Mississauga man is facing charges for allegedly operating as a “money mule” in a series of transnational telephone scams, including the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) telephone scam, the bank investigator scam and the tech support scam.

Police say Naman Grover, 22, was charged with fraud over $5,000, possession of proceeds of crime and laundering proceeds of crime. 

A Canada-wide warrant was issued for his arrest, as police suspect he might have left Canada recently. 

Police say that in October 2018, the RCMP GTA Financial Crime Section launched Project OCTAVIA to combat the CRA telephone tax scam and other interrelated scams. According to police, these telephone scammers are operating out of India and have been targeting the Canadian public since 2014.

“Despite a number of police raids on illegal call centres in India, these scams continue to victimize Canadians. The criminal organization responsible for these scams recruits a number of individuals in the capacity of ‘money mules’ to ultimately receive the victim funds and then launder the scam proceeds,” the RCMP said in a news release.

“In many of these incidents, individuals here in Canada on student visas have been recruited before coming to Canada, or while here, to carry out these fraudulent activities.”

Police say that between 2014 and 2020, the scams cost victims over $35 million dollars.

RCMP officers say they have uncovered “money mules /money mule managers” operating in Canada who assist with laundering the proceeds of these scams.

“The RCMP and our many partners continue to work together to dismantle these criminal organizations. Money mules are a crucial component of this complex scam as they facilitate the flow of victims’ funds to members of these illicit organizations,” said Inspector Jim Ogden, the officer in charge of the Greater Toronto Area Financial Crime Section at (TWD) in Milton, in a statement. 

“Arrests and charges send a clear and important message - those who get involved as money mules will be arrested, criminally charged and prosecuted. Taking part in the illegal activities of these criminal organizations has other serious consequences; including revocation of student visas.”

Police are reminding residents to be wary of anyone who calls to ask for personal or banking information over the phone. 

“If someone on the phone is asking for your personal or banking information, hang up and report the activity to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. If the caller is threatening you or your family, hang up and contact your local police. If you receive an e-mail or text message making suspicious tax claims and urging you to click on a link to submit information, don’t interact and report the occurrence to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, through its website at www.antifraudcentre.ca, or by telephone at 1-888-495-8501,” police said. 

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