Tonight’s CBC Marketplace shines a spotlight on fraudsters deceiving Canadians by pretending to be CRA agents in order to scam them out of their savings. These predators go after grandmothers and grandfathers, new immigrants and other vulnerable people. It’s vile, illegal and completely unacceptable. While tonight’s show will raise critical awareness to help keep Canadians from becoming victims, that’s not enough—the fraudsters must be targeted by police as well.
Notwithstanding the mistaken claims made by Mr. Param Bir Singh on Marketplace, the RCMP is—most definitely—continuing to work with India’s Law Enforcement agencies on these complaints. Mr. Singh is not among the partners the RCMP works with in India.
In 2016 about a dozen arrests in Canada and others in India helped cut the volume of complaints to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre by 50% the following year. But those complaints—which include all scams, not just CRA ones—are rising again. We cannot be idle.
That’s why our government, among other measures, funded the creation of the new National Cybercrime Coordination Unit in Budget 2018, providing $116M over five years, and $23.2M per year ongoing. Run by the RCMP, the unit will be a coordination hub for cybercrime investigations in Canada and will work with international partners on cybercrime, including phone scams, to protect Canadians.
Fraud is a global problem without borders and our government is focused on combatting it.
One point needs to be made crystal clear: anyone purporting to represent CRA to ask for money over the phone is a fraud.