The RCMP arrested an individual allegedly involved in fraudulent telephone scams, targeting victims across Canada. These scams are believed to be originating from illegal India call centers.
Charges will be recommended against the individual, who is in Canada on a work visa. This investigation was led by the Federal Serious and Organized Crime (FSOC) section in British Columbia and GTA-Financial Crime Section from Ontario, as well as the Burnaby RCMP Detachment.
The investigation revealed that a group of individuals operated money service businesses in the Lower Mainland which were believed to be used to launder the illegally obtained funds. The FSOC mandate is to detect, deter and investigate serious Criminal Code money laundering and proceeds of crime offences that are regional, national or international that pose a genuine threat to economic stability in Canada and the integrity of Canada’s economy.
“The RCMP remains committed to hunting down scam artists from coast to coast, using top-notch investigators and partnerships with other agencies to get the job done. It is however more important that Canadians know to protect themselves by recognizing, rejecting and reporting scams before they fall victims to them,” said Insp. Tony Farahbakhchian, Operations Officer BC FSOC-Financial Integrity.
Investigators are working closely with Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), regarding the individual’s admissibility in Canada.
Here are some of the current and more common phone/email scams:
Canada Revenue Scam
The victim receives a phone call, purportedly from Canada Revenue Agency, advising an audit reveals they still owe money from a previous tax year. The victim is put in contact with a supposed police officer who threatens their arrest if they fail to pay. The victim is then tricked into sending money to the suspect’s mailbox address, purchasing iTunes gift or Google Play cards and/or disclosing his/her PIN # or other personal information.
Bank Inspector Scam
The victim receives a phone call, purportedly from the bank who alerts them to fraud activity on their account. The victim agrees to cooperate with a police investigation and their call is transferred to a person they believe is an RCMP officer. The victim allows police to access their online bank account, who manipulate the funds to give the appearance that police have made a large deposit into the account. The victim is directed to withdraw large sums of cash and send to one of the above-noted mailbox address, or purchasing Google Play cards and disclosing the PIN.
Computer Virus Scam
The victim receives a phone call from a Computer virus software company, alleging they are going out of business and owe the victim a refund. The victim allows the caller remote access to their computer for the purpose of making a direct payment into their online bank account. The caller makes an ‘overpayment’ and directs the victim to send the cash difference to one of the above noted mailbox addresses.
For more details on phone scams, refer to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website: http://www.antifraudcentre.ca/fraud-escroquerie/index-eng.htm