The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is warning taxpayers about an apparent increase in telephone scams, using increasingly aggressive tactics.

There has been an increase in scams involving telephone calls where the caller claims to be from the CRA, but is not, the agency reports.

These calls are fraudulent and could result in identity theft, or financial losses, it warns.

“Some recent telephone scams involve threatening taxpayers or using aggressive and forceful language to scare them into paying fictitious debt to the CRA,” the agency says.

In these scams, the perpetrator claiming to work for the CRA tells prospective victims that they owe taxes, and they request immediate payment by credit card, or convince the victims to purchase a prepaid credit card and to call back immediately with the information.

“The taxpayer is often threatened with court charges, jail or deportation,” the CRA says.

Taxpayers should be beware of these sorts of calls, the agency says, and report them to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

The CRA never requests prepaid credit cards, never asks for information about passports, health cards, or driver’s licences, and never leaves personal information on an answering machine, or asks taxpayers to leave a message containing personal information, the agency stresses.