It may be a new year but some people are up to their old tricks. The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP started the year of fraudulent claims/computer hacks with a report from a local school stating that one of their computers had a virus called Crypto Wall Extortion. They were told they had to pay 700 dollars in exchange for the key to unlock their data. Information important to the community and our local businesses is an online open source search showed that the virus is commonly deployed via an attachment of a resume where once the user clicks on it, it extracts the virus. There is nothing the user can do except format it.

Second up is a believed to be fraudulent company by the name of IDNS Canada (Internet Domain Name Services). The complainant reported that she does own an Internet domain name and knew it was up for renewal. She sent a cheque to the noted company only to receive the correct invoice for the domain name at a later date. Research on the described company by the complainant, found it to be a fake company and is reported under numerous sites (Better Business Bureau, Domain People Scam websites).

The Police in general do not to see repeat customers especially when they are the recipients of fraudulent attempts at extracting money from lawful citizens. One of our frequent callers has yet again been contacted by someone posing as a Canada Revenue Agent. This time it is by email and the essence of the fraud is this; the posing CRA Agent states that an email transfer has been sent to them and they are to collect their money by clicking on the listed link. The link takes you to an online CRA tax refund form which asks for your credit card information. Don’t do it!

Other well-known CRA scams include repeated phone calls to our tax payers. This individual is presenting themselves as a Canada Revenue Agency agent and threatening the person who is unlucky enough to answer their phone. The scammer will make repeated calls to the same victim. The calls are escalating and threatening. The fake CRA agent is threatening to launch a lawsuit against the tax payer if they don’t send money the CRA believes it is owed. We are hoping that the average tax payer knows that the legitimate CRA would never call them and act in this manner and they don’t resolve their debts owed to them by way of a lawsuit; just ask anyone who has ever owed them money. Most scams are received by phone, mail, and email. If you receive a call from someone claiming to represent the CRA and informing you that you owe money, it is recommended that you hang up and call your local CRA office and speak to a representative, added Cpl. Krista Hobday.

And just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, there is this one; a citizen received this email: We bring to your notice that your email address has been in our database of scammed victims for a long time, due to complaints by individuals and governmental agencies, an emergency meeting was held at the United Nation Building in New York with the general secretary of the United Nation Ban Ki-moon and the Heads of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Cyber Crime Division…they go on to tell him he is owed 1.5 million dollars.

Some scams are this obvious, some are more subtle. At the end of the day the message is the same. If it sounds too good to be true, then it is. If you think you are the potential target of a scam, report it. For more information about scams or to report one visit www.antifraudcentre.ca or call 1-888-495-8501.