“These scammers are very threatening. They’re very direct. They entice that fear.”


Stores including pharmacy chain Rexall have started posting warnings about scams involving gift cards as reports about the fraud continue to mount.


Fraudsters pretending to be the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) have been calling unwitting consumers and telling them they owe money from a past tax return. The consumers are told they will incur additional fees, face jail time or be deported if they fail to pay the sum — by wire transfer, pre-paid credit cards, gift cards or bitcoin.


“It’s one of the biggest scams out there right now,” said Jessica Gunson of the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC), a federal agency jointly managed by the RCMP, the Competition Bureau, and the OPP.


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