Scam warning for Canadians: Fraud scheme involving Canada Border Services, Canada Post packages duping residents

A Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) logo is seen on a worker during a tour of the Infield Terminal at Toronto Pearson International Airport, that is set up as a temporary port-of-entry for Syrian refugees entering Canada in Mississauga, December 8, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch (Mark Blinch / Reuters)

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) is warning the public about an extortion scam Canadians are experiencing involving fraudsters claiming to be from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

"They try to make you believe that a package addressed to you was intercepted by Canada Post containing illegal substances," the information from the fraud centre reads.

When the scammers make the call, they ask you to press 1, through an automated message, before requesting personal information, including SIN, date of birth, name, address. and account balances.

Then victims of this scam will be asked to withdraw money from their bank accounts and deposit that money into a "safe account."

"In rare cases, suspects may pose as police officers and present themselves at your house to pick up the money," the CAFC warns.

The scam is similar to previously reported extortion scams where fraudsters claim to be representatives of Service Canada, Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and RCMP.

The fraud centre is warning Canadians that scammers manipulate caller ID to show a phone number actually linked to these agencies, called "call-spoofing."

Follow these tips to protect yourself from scams:

  • Never provide personal information over the phone to an unknown caller

  • Do not assume that phone numbers appearing on your call display are accurate

  • If you provide personal information, contact Equifax and TransUnion to place fraud alerts on your accounts

The CAFC urges anyone who has been a victim of a scam, fraud or cybercrime, to contact their local police as soon as possible. Scams can be reported to the CAFC online or over the phone at 1-888-495-8501.