With it being 'tax season', the Grande Prairie RCMP want to remind the citizens of Grande Prairie to take the necessary precautions from being scammed out of their hard earned money and to protect their identities.
The following is an excerpt from the Canada Revenue Agency's website. It is in regard to an ongoing scam that continues to be present in the City of Grande Prairie.
Occasionally, taxpayers may receive, either by telephone, mail, or email, a communication that claims to be from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) but is NOT. In all these cases, the communication requests personal information, such as a social insurance, credit card, bank account, and passport numbers, from the taxpayer. These fraudulent communications are also referred to as scams or phishing.
Invariably, the communication argues that this personal information is needed so that the taxpayer can receive a refund or benefit payment. Another common scam refers the person to a Web site resembling the CRA's Web site where the person is asked to verify their identity by entering personal information. Taxpayers should not respond to such fraudulent communications.
To better equip taxpayers to identify those communications that do not come from the CRA, the following general guidelines are provided.
The CRA does not do the following:
• The CRA will not request personal information of any kind from a taxpayer by email.
• The CRA will not divulge taxpayer information to another person unless formal authorization is provided by the taxpayer.
• The CRA will not leave any personal information on an answering machine.
Protect yourself, your identity and your hard earned money. Once you have fallen for this type of scam it is very difficult to investigate and prosecute those responsible as those responsible often live in other countries outside the reach of Canadian laws. The best way to stop this type of scam is to recognize it before you fall victim.