The Tax Song

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.

iTunes gift card shows a drawing of a woman wearing earbuds and rocking to the music. Worth $25.

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.

3 thoughts on “The Tax Song”

  1. The same thing happened to a woman (in her 60;s) here in the Oshawa area. An alert Walmart employee noticed how agitated she was, gently questioned her and called police. Unfortunately by then, she had been scammed out of $12,000. Kudos to the Walmart staffer!

  2. Sadly this happens every year and its the elderly, new Canadians and those whose first language isn’t English are the most vulnerable to these type of scams. The fact that they persist tells you that there successful enough to continue.

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