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Don't fall for Bitcoin tax scam, police warn

Person allegedly scammed out of thousands by caller who claimed to work for CRA

Police are warning residents not to pay tax bills with Bitcoin after a North Vancouver man lost $3,000 to a tax scam.

On Jan. 18, the victim received a phone call from a person who allegedly claimed to be an employee of Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The male caller told the victim he owed $8,000 in unpaid taxes and, if not paid immediately, the man would go to jail, according to a North Vancouver RCMP news release. 

He was threatened that the police would show up at his residence if he hung up or did not pay the money.

The victim was then directed to pay as much as he could that day by using a Bitcoin terminal.

The man transfered $3,000 to a Bitcoin reference code number supplied by the alleged fraudster. After the transfer was made, the victim realized he had been scammed.

Tax time is soon upon us and scam artists will use creative, criminal means to defraud you of your hard earned money. CRA will not contact you by phone and threaten or coerce you into paying a tax bill, cautioned Cpl. Richard De Jong of the North Vancouver RCMP. Also, the CRA does not accept Bitcoin as a method of payment!

If you want to confirm that a CRA representative has actually contacted you, call the CRA at 1-800-959-8281 for individual concerns or 1-800-959-5525 for business-related calls.

Report any frauds to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre or call them at 1-888-495-8501.

For other important information to protect yourself against tax scams, go to the Canada Revenue Agency or the BC.RCMP website.

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