An RCMP investigation into the common telephone scam where the caller poses as a tax collector has led to the arrest of a Brampton man.
The scam usually involves a call from somebody claiming to be from the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) or sometimes as a bank investigator or a tech support worker.
According to the RCMP, an investigation named Project Octavia was initiated to combat the CRA schemes and other related frauds through public awareness, disruption, and enforcement. So far ten people have been charged with respect to this ongoing investigation.
The calls usually originate overseas and have been targeting Canadians since 2014. And, despite the number of police raids on illegal call centres in India and arrests in Canada, the RCMP says the perpetrators continually modify their operation and techniques to continue to target Canadians.
During this investigation, RCMP investigators uncovered “money mules” or “money mule managers” who helped launder proceeds of crime within Canada and overseas.
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Abhinav Bector (age 25) of Brampton, Ontario, is charged with:
• Fraud over $5,000, contrary to the Criminal Code;
• Possession of proceeds of crime, contrary to the Criminal Code;
• Laundering of the proceeds of crime, contrary to the Criminal Code.
He is scheduled to appear at the Brampton Courthouse on January 18.
None of the charges have been proven in court.
“Fraudsters need to take heed and realize there are consequences to their unlawful activities,” said RCMP Staff Ken Derakhshan, Project Octavia’s team commander. “Fraud and money laundering cause devastating financial and psychological consequences to their victims. The RCMP is steadfast in its pursuit of those who prey on unsuspecting and sometimes vulnerable individuals, and attempt to undermine Canada’s economic growth and integrity.”
The RCMP believes that between 2014 and 2020, the CRA scam alone has resulted in reported victim losses totalling over $18.5 million. As of October 1, 2020, between the CRA, the bank investigator and tech support scams, the total reported victim losses are over $34 million.