When I read about the latest successful telephone scam, I didn’t believe it. When I saw the lips of actual Windsor police officers move to tell the story, I had to admit it was true. These scammers must have a patter that’s awfully effective, or it’s just a matter of numbers before they hit someone exceptionally gullible, because it’s hard to imagine this one working as well as it has.
The caller claims to be from Canada Revenue Agency and explains to the person that they owe money in income tax. Threats are made involving jail time. The bogus CRA rep somehow convinces the person to buy the amount owed in iTunes gift cards. In another call, the person reads the gift card numbers and PINs over the phone.
And it has worked several times.
One person lost $8000. Another lost $1000. Another was saved from buying $6200 worth of iTunes cards when the store clerk asked why they were buying so many, and called the cops.
It’s a mystery how anyone would think that CRA would accept payment for outstanding taxes in cards that buy music downloads. But they did and some lost thousands. And now Windsor police are warning people that, “Canada Revenue Agency doesn’t accept payment in gift cards”. My brain is still wrestling with a way to understand how these people got so hosed.