VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – On Thursday, Vancouver Police issued a renewed warning about a Canada Revenue Agency scam after going public with a story of a woman who claimed she kidnapped, defrauded out of $6,000 after being approached by two men dressed as Mounties. It turns out that story isn’t quite true.
One day later, investigators now confirm the woman exaggerated her report and at no time was she physically approached by anyone dressed up as police officers.
Originally, the 58-year-old woman said she had taken a call from someone claiming to be from the CRA and was eventually cuffed by two men dressed up in, what looked like, RCMP uniforms. She told police she was duped out of $6,000 after being taken to a bank to get her money and then driven to a Bitcoin machine in Surrey to deposit the funds. She also supplied investigators with two suspect descriptions of the “suspects” involved.
After further investigating, the VPD’s Major Crime Unit figured out she was duped out of $6,000 but never dealt with anyone in person.
The department says she did lose the money, but it appears to be through the common CRA phone scam.
“Based on the seriousness of the information originally reported by the victim, a team of Major Crime investigators were reassigned to focus on and prioritize this incident. Detectives confirmed this morning that the victim was embarrassed for falling for the scam and panicked, deciding to exaggerate her story to include fake police,” says VPD Constable Jason Doucette. “Our officers will continue with their investigation and will consider available options.”
The CRA does not threaten customers by telling them they’ll be arrested or send the police to get any money. The agency also doesn’t accept Bitcoin or gift cards as payments.
Anyone who may have ever been the victim of a fraud is asked to call the VPD’s Major Crime Section at 604.717.2541 or Crime Stoppers at 1.800.222.8477.