RCMP: Tax fraud complaints on the rise since 2016 India 'scam centre' bust

The RCMP estimates that from 2014 to the beginning of March, about 2,100 Canadians have lost an estimated $6.3 million to income tax rebate scams. 

Data from law enforcement agencies across the country shows investigators have fielded as many as 41,000 complaints about various fraud schemes over that time. 

RCMP Sgt. Guy-Paul Larocque says at the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, investigators receive between 80 and 100 complaints each week. 

He reports that the number of people coming forward with allegations of fraud has been on the rise since an alleged 'scam centre' was busted in India last October. 

"Since then, our numbers trickled down but lately we've seen the scams picking up again," says Larocque.

"People are still being targeted." 

He adds what makes fighting this type of crime so difficult is that fraudsters are always adapting their stories and schemes to ratchet up the pressure they put on their victims, and make them seem "more authentic" to the people on the receiving end of the phone call or email. 

Investigators also face challenges because many con artists are based outside of Canada's borders, so Larocque says the best way to fight back is through prevention and awareness. 

Find out more about how you can protect yourself this tax season by visiting the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.