Fraudsters Prey on Seniors

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 10:19 a.m. February 1, 2016

Aggressive fraudsters posing as Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) agents have been targeting seniors, telling them they owe money in overdue taxes.



A seated man speaks into a microphone
Detective Constable Cornelus Gutter is interviewed on Zoomer Radio about scams targeting seniors

Police are warning anyone who believes they may owe money to call the Canada Revenue Agency to confirm and never to share personal information over the phone if someone calls.

Detective Cornelus Gutter recently took to the airwaves on Zoomer Radio to warn Torontonians about the common scam.

“Nobody wants to be caught owing the government money, especially seniors because they are much more financially responsible,” Gutter said, as to why many fall victim to the scam. “They are from the generation where you paid your debt on time. Now the government is accusing them of owing a sum of money. This is horrible. They don’t want people to believe they are deadbeats, so they pay the money.”

It is also important to keep in mind that the Caller ID function on your phone can also be changed so a call appears to be coming from a legitimate agency.

The same rules apply to emails, as the Canada Revenue Agency would never contact anyone by email unless requested to do so while on the phone.

Visit the Canada Revenue Agency anti-fraud webpage

Listen to actual examples of fraudulent calls

A member of the Service for the last 15 years, Gutter said it’s important to ask questions and confirm information before ever sending money.

He said seniors should always talk to the organization that called, a trusted friend, or even contact their local police station for advice.

“If you receive such a call, you should pause for a moment, think, and then talk to someone,” Gutter said. “The bank account to where the money is transferred is usually in another country. So, even if we make an arrest, you will never be able to get that money back.”

Gutter said the same rules apply when approached for money, whether from someone posing as a love interest or a distant relative in need of money.

Learn How to Protect Yourself From Financial Crimes 

People who have been approached, or know someone who may have been the victim of these scams, are asked to contact their local police, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416−222−TIPS (8477), online at  222tips.com, text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637), or Leave A Tip on Facebook. Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes, Google Play or Blackberry App.


TPS crest watermark