Police have arrested a person in Burnaby believed to be involved in defrauding residents across Canada through a number of various phone scams.
RCMP announced the arrest Thursday, as part of a joint investigation with the Burnaby RCMP, GTA-Financial Crime Section out of Ontario and the federal Serious and Organized Crime section.
The allegations levelled against the unidentified person, in B.C. on a work visa, are believed to be originating from illegal call centers in India. No charges have been laid at this time, but police are working with the Canada Border Services Agency to determine their admissibility in Canada.
The investigation also uncovered a group of money service businesses in the Lower Mainland being used to launder the illegal funds obtained from people who fall victim to the phone scams.
Insp. Tony Farahbakchian said in a statement the RCMP are continuing to investigate and remain committed to hunting down scam artists across the country.
“It is however more important that Canadians know to protect themselves by recognizing, rejecting and reporting scams before they fall victims to them,” Farahbakchian said.
Phone scams are one of the most common kinds of hoaxes targeting hundreds of victims each year in B.C., according to the Better Business Bureau.
Income tax extortion scams were behind more than $6 million in losses in Canada last year, the bureau said.
The most popular, called the Canada Revenue Scam, involves a scammer pretending to be from the CRA and claims the victim owes money from past tax years or through fake audits. The victim is then tricked into sending money to the suspect’s mailbox address, purchasing iTunes gift or Google Play cards and disclosing personal information.
For more information about frauds and scams check out The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.