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Battlefords RCMP have received complaints of fraudulent telephone calls to residences all over the Battlefords.
The caller states that you have won a prize for a previous subscription with Readers Digest.
The caller is very persuasive and calls back numerous times to try and convince you that this is legitimate. If you continue to resist the caller, they will have someone call who claims to be from a Canadian government department and will attempt to legitimize the original caller.
On numerous occasions, the second caller has claimed to be from the Canada Revenue Service and explains how you will need to pay taxes on your winnings. The number has been showing up on call display as 1-877-867-9967.
There are no prize fees or taxes in Canada. This is important -- Canadians do not need to pay taxes on any winnings, despite the fact they were from out-of-country or not.
These crimes focus on the elderly, however we all need to be vigilant. There are a few things you can do to check and verify apparently fraudulent telephone calls:
- keep track of contests, draws and lotteries you enter;
- challenge a caller who says you've won a prize to tell you where and when you entered;
- tell them you will need to check this out with the RCMP or your local police. If this is legitimate, there should be no problem. The fraudsters will insist you keep this quiet for your own safety. If the claim is legitimate, speaking with the police should not be an issue;
- If you have call display and a number shows up, tell them you need to check it on 411. You can run the number in any search engine and see what is associated to it;
- Take your time. Find out who the company or person is and check into their claims. If you win something, there should not be any rush; time is on your side. If you are getting lots of pressure to do something, that is a warning sign. Legitimate companies want people to know about contest winners.
Remember that these people will spend a great deal of time with you and are very believable. They are smooth talkers and will bring in others to lend credibility to their story. As always, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
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