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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Update: Arrest in Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Scam, Police believe there may be more victims

Please note, the Toronto Police Service has made an arrest related to an ongoing telephone fraud scam in which callers have been impersonating members of the Revenue Canada Agency (CRA) and extorting money from victims across Canada. Both the Toronto Police Service and the RCMP have issued numerous Public Safety Alerts about this scam in recent years and urge the public to remain vigilant and aware of such unsolicited calls, despite this recent arrest:
The Toronto Police Service would like to make the public aware of an arrest in connection with a Canada Revenue Agency scam.

It is alleged that:
  • a group made unsolicited phone calls to random people, purporting to be from the Canada Revenue Agency
  • the recipients of the calls were told they were in arrears of their income tax, and were threatened with imprisonment if payment was not made immediately
  • when the recipients agreed to pay, they were instructed to send money by way of a direct bank transfer

On Monday, January 25, 2016, police arrested Abhi Thakkar, 20, of no fixed address. He was charged with:
  1. Fraud - Over ($5000)
  2. three counts of Fraud - Under ($5000)
  3. four counts of Possession of Property Obtained by Crime
  4. Laundering Proceeds of Crime

Police are aware of victims in Ontario and Alberta, and believe there may be other victims across Canada.

Anyone who has transferred money to Abhi Thakkar is asked to contact police at 43 Division at 416-808-430.

The Toronto Police Service would like to make the public aware of these types of unsolicited phone calls.

When presented with a call of this type, ask the caller to provide a call-back number. End the call and contact other trusted family, relatives, or friends to verify the information you are being told.

Be wary of any requests for secrecy. Requests for secrecy are often a red flag and are used by suspects to prevent victims discovering the ruse.

If in doubt, contact your local police service or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

Never send money as a result of an unsolicited phone call without first independently verifying the legitimacy of the request.

View Police Report »

If you have seen or heard anything suspicious, please contact the Police.
If you see a crime in progress, please call 9-1-1 immediately.

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Original Report
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Please note, 22 Division has issued a public safety alert about an ongoing telephone fraud scheme impersonating members of the Revenue Canada Agency (CRA), Police officers, and/or other federal agents, please see the report below:
The Toronto Police Service would like to warn the public about an ongoing scam involving fraudulent telephone communications, purportedly coming from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), police officers, and/or federal agents. Several different law enforcement or government titles have been used.

There have been several reports across the GTA of a telephone caller identifying themselves as a police officer, Canada Revenue Agent or a federal agent.

Residents have received phone calls claiming that the recipient owes money. They are told to pay immediately or be arrested and charged. These fraudulent phone calls instruct the recipients to provide personal information.

The CRA will never request information by telephone. The public is urged to visit the CRA website to determine exactly how they communicate with their clients.

If anyone does receive this type of fraudulent phone call, they are encouraged to take the following steps to protect themselves from fraud:
  • Do not comply and contact the appropriate agency office to verify the information. Contact them, directly, with the number listed in the phone book. Do not call the number provided by the caller.
  • Write down the number which appears on telephone call display or the number the caller provides. 
  • Do not provide personal information over the telephone. 
  • Contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and report the incident. 
  • Restitution is awarded through courts; police do not request or demand money. 
  • Be cautious of who you are dealing with on the phone. 
  • Do not provide PINs to people you do not know.

View Police Report »

If you have seen or heard anything suspicious, please contact the Police.
If you see a crime in progress, please call 9-1-1 immediately.