CRA Telephone Tax scammer arrested as part of Project Octavia
Mar. 20, 2020
Global Korean Post
On March 12, members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Greater Toronto Area (GTA) Financial Crime Section, Toronto West Detachment (TWD), in Milton, Ontario, arrested and charged an individual in connection to various transnational scams, including the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Telephone scam, the Bank Investigator scam, and the Tech Support scam.
In October of 2018, the RCMP Greater Toronto Area Financial Crime section commenced an investigation, named Project OCTAVIA. The focus of the investigation was to combat the CRA Telephone Tax scam – better known as the CRA scam through public awareness, disruption and enforcement.
The scam involved callers identifying themselves as CRA and /or RCMP and later other Federal government agencies and then intimidating victims into paying non-existent fines or taxes. The CRA scam, which is operating out of India, has been targeting the Canadian public since 2014, and despite a number of police raids on illegal call centres in India, it continues to victimize Canadians.
Cumulatively between 2014 and 2019, the CRA scam has resulted in victim losses totaling over $17 million dollars. Including the Bank Investigator and Tech Support scams, the total reported victim losses are over $30 million dollars.
The scam has also caused fear due to the threat of arrest by the fraudsters who claim to be from various Canadian government agencies. This has led to Canadians becoming wary or suspicious even when CRA is attempting legitimate contact.
RCMP investigators have uncovered “money mules /money mule managers” operating in Canada who assist with the laundering of funds obtained through the CRA scam and other scams.
Charged is Rong Qing Chen (also known as: Rita Chen )(age 34) of Scarborough, Ontario with:
- Fraud over $5,000
- Possession of Proceeds of Crime
- Laundering of the Proceeds of Crime
Ms. Chen was released on an Undertaking and is scheduled to appear at the Scarborough Courthouse located at 1911 Eglinton Avenue East, in Scarborough on April 6th, 2020, Courtroom 407 at 2:00 pm.
The Project OCTAVIA investigation is continuing, which may result in additional arrests.
“This investigation demonstrates how the RCMP works to ensure that Canadians can maintain confidence in their economy and in their government agencies. The RCMP and our many partners will continue to work together to dismantle these organizations.” said Inspector Jim Ogden, Officer in Charge of the GTA Financial Crime Section, at (TWD) in Milton, ON. “Project OCTAVIA shows how the efforts of law enforcement, Federal government agencies, and private sector partnerships at a local, national, and international level, can work in concert to effectively combat crime.”
If someone on the phone is asking for your personal or banking information, hang up and report the activity to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. If the caller is threatening you or your family, hang up and contact your local police or someone you trust. If you receive an e-mail or text message making suspicious tax claims and urging you to click on a link to submit information, don’t interact, and report the occurrence to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, through its website at www.antifraudcentre.ca, or by telephone at 1-888-495-8501.