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CRA text scams concerning Ottawa police: 'Remember that the CRA won't ask for a payment via text message'

The Ottawa Police Service says there could be victims falling to a new trend of CRA text scams in the capital. (The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre/ X) The Ottawa Police Service says there could be victims falling to a new trend of CRA text scams in the capital. (The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre/ X)
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The Ottawa Police Service says there could be victims falling to a new trend of (Canada Revenue Agency) CRA text scams in the capital.

This comes as the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) has been getting complaints reporting text messages claiming to be from CRA, using the victim’s full name and SIN number and asking for payment.

"Remember that the CRA won't ask for a payment via text message!" The CAFC said on X.

In 2023, the CAFC received fraud reports totalling $554 million in victim losses, "surpassing the 2022 historic loss amounts of $530 million," the Ontario Provincial Police said in a news release on Thursday.

Seventy-five per cent of overall losses reported to the CAFC are from cyber-enabled fraud, the provincial police say, noting that this percentage is expected to increase year-over-year.

The provincial police adds that only five to 10 per cent of victims report scams and frauds to the CAFC or law enforcement.

According to the CAFC, the top five frauds affecting Canadians in 2023 were:

• Investment frauds represented $309 million in reported losses in 2023. Ontario victims reported losing more than $111.2 million.

• Spear phishing frauds (Business Email Compromise) represented $58.2 million in reported losses in 2023. Ontario victims reported losing more than $21.3 million.

• Romance frauds represented $50.3 million in reported losses in 2023. Ontario victims reported losing more than $21.3 million.

• Job scams represented $27.7 million in reported losses in 2023. Ontario victims reported losing more than $9.4 million.

• Service frauds represented $22.2 million in reported losses in 2023. Ontario victims reported losing more than $8.3 million.

If you have been a victim, contact the city’s reporting unit at 613-236-1222 ext. 7300.

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