CRA scam takes scary turn as fraudster shows up at home with handcuffs
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Friday, June 8, 2018 12:58PM PDT
Last Updated Friday, June 8, 2018 6:46PM PDT
Police are warning the public after a suspected fraudster posing as an investigator showed up at an Esquimalt home, threatening to take a woman into custody unless she handed him cash.
They say it's the latest twist in an increasingly sophisticated scam where perpetrators pretend to be from the Canada Revenue Agency.
Earlier this week, police reported a Victoria resident received an email from someone claiming to be a VicPD officer, stating charges would be laid unless she provided personal information.
They verified it was a case of attempted fraud and that the scammer likely obtained the potential victim's name through a recent obituary.
Then just after 11 a.m. Friday morning, police were called to a home in the 800-block of Dunsmuir Road in Esquimalt.
A woman living at the home told police that over several days she had been receiving CRA-scam telephone calls, in which fraudsters threaten penalties and charges unless victims fork over their money.
But the scam took a frightening turn when the woman said a man showed up at her front door armed with handcuffs, threatening to arrest her unless she handed over money immediately. The man claimed to be a CRA investigator, according to police.
She closed the door on the man and called 911, according to police. The woman was not physically hurt.
"She did the right thing," said Victoria Police Insp. Jason Laidman. "This is the first that I've actually heard of a CRA scammer actually going from door to door."
The man is described as being tall, slim, white and in his 30s, with short dark hair. He was wearing a blue suit.
Police are reminding the public that Canada Revenue will never show up at a home with handcuffs threatening to arrest someone unless they hand over cash.
"If this man, or someone else making similar demands, attends your residence please close the door and call 911 immediately," VicPD said in a statement.
No arrests have been made in the case. Anyone with information or those who have encountered the man are asked to call police at 250-995-7654 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.