New scam that uses real Canada Revenue Agency phone number hits Mississauga, Brampton residents

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Published April 4, 2023 at 4:58 pm

Scammers are trying to trick people into giving up personal information and their money by using a real Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) phone number in text messages to would-be victims, police warn Mississauga and Brampton residents.

Peel Regional Police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) say crooks are contacting people in Mississauga, Brampton and across the country via “phishing text messages,” which are communications intended to grab people’s personal information by underhanded means.

In the latest scam alert from the CAFC, which was shared on social media by Peel police, the federal agency says it’s been getting reports recently of phishing text messages sent to people that are “claiming to be from the CRA which include a real CRA phone number to make it look legitimate.”

Authorities say those who receive such texts that also ask the recipient to click on a link should not do so as “it’s a scam.”

Police and the CAFC urge people to learn more about this fraud and other scams by visiting the CAFC or Peel police web sites.

Earlier this week, Peel cops alerted residents to a scam in which crooks are contacting people to tell them their various devices have been hacked and that their data will be made public unless they pay money.

The “phishing text” and “hacked devices” scams are the latest to be shared with the public by Peel cops and the CAFC, who’ve been alerting people on a regular basis to various frauds.

Police and the federal agency stepped up those efforts in March, which was Canadian Fraud Prevention Month.

Last week, Mississauga and Brampton residents were alerted to an income tax scam that seeks to steal their money and sensitive personal information.

Police re-tweeted a social media post from the Competition Bureau of Canada that warns people to be extra careful when submitting their annual income taxes online.

“When filing your income taxes, be extra cautious; fraudsters will clone legitimate government websites to steal your money or sensitive information,” the post from the federal agency reads.

Among other scams police have alerted people to in recent weeks are those focused on cryptocurrencyPonzi schemes and pyramid scams that try to lure people into illegal investment webs that promise quick return on financial investment and a fraud that seeks to trick people out of their money by telling would-be victims over the phone that a loved one is in jail or that they’re being targeted for not paying taxes.

Such “emergency scams” are among a number of popular frauds targeting people these days in Mississauga, Brampton and across Ontario, and Canada, police warn.

According to the CAFC, Canadians lost more than $530 million to fraud in 2022 and much of that could have been prevented if victims were more informed of the tactics used by scammers.

For more information on the various frauds/scams, visit Peel Regional Police or Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre websites.

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