'Significant investigative operation' into CRA phone scam underway, public safety minister says

Posted
October 1, 2018

There is "at least one very significant investigative operation underway" at the moment into one of the largest cyber crimes in Canadian history — the CRA phone scam — with both Canadian and Indian authorities working to shut it down, says Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale.

Goodale made the comments while responding to a months-long CBC Marketplaceinvestigationthat traced some of those fake tax calls to illegal call centres in Mumbai.

The CRA scam usually begins with an automated phone message claiming that the target is facing a lawsuit over unpaid taxes owed to Canada Revenue Agency, and demanding they call back or face arrest. Those who return the calls face further threats, before being instructed to pay an outstanding sum, sometimes through bitcoin or gift cards.

While in India, Marketplacespoke to Param Bir Singh, the police commissioner of the Mumbai suburb of Thane, who said he only became aware Canadians were being targeted after he visited the RCMP website and saw a posting about it.

"Nobody contacted us from Canada. It doesn't seem right," he said.

But Goodale says those conversations are taking place with other law enforcement officials.

"Canadians can be assured that the RCMP treat this very seriously and want to do everything we can — at home and abroad — to shut it down," he said.

 

Canadian and Indian authorities are not only in contact, but also co-ordinating with other allies and exchanging intelligence, Goodale said.

Read more: 'Significant investigative operation' into CRA phone scam underway, public safety minister says