It was a call that almost caught Carol Graham.
The Petrolia woman wants to warn her neighbours after a scammer posing as someone from the Canada Revenue Agency tried to fast talk her into paying $12,000 in “back taxes.”
Graham says the call came on the heels of tax time and she knew her financials were up to date. But the number on the phone was from Ottawa and “I thought – okay; there might be some validity there.”
Graham says the man “talked so quickly didn’t give you a chance to ask questions in between.” He said there was a warrant out for her arrest because she hadn’t paid her 2011 taxes and she could be thrown in jail.
“He said, ‘Do not hang up , you will be arrested if you hang up.’”
When Graham could get a word in edgewise, she asked for proof he was from Revenue Canada – when he pointed to the Ottawa phone number as proof it was enough evidence for her to hang up the phone.
But she’s worried other people might not be so sure. “If he contacted anyone with any doubt at all….I thought I paid that…if they had any doubt at all this guy would really be able to work you into a state of panic.”
Graham called police and the anti-fraud hotline who confirmed it was a scam. And she wants others to be aware so they won’t be trapped.
“He was just so pushy and aggressive – I thought ‘O boy, if anyone had a little bit of a doubt, their hearts would be pounding.”