BRAMPTON, DECEMBER 24: The Greater Toronto Area RCMP’s Financial Crime Section (Toronto West Detachment) arrested and charged Abhinav Bector of Brampton in connection with transnational telephone frauds, including the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) telephone scam, the bank investigator scam, and the tech support scam.
The RCMP initiated an investigation, named Project Octavia, to address the victimization of Canadians in October of 2018. The focus of the investigation was to combat the CRA telephone tax schemes and other interrelated frauds through public awareness, disruption, and enforcement. These telephone fraudsters, operating from overseas, have been targeting the Canadian public since 2014. Despite a number of police raids on illegal call centres in India, and arrests in Canada, these fraudsters continue to modify their deceitful pitch and target Canadians, said the RCMP. To date, 10 individuals have been charged with respect to this investigation.
Cumulatively 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. During this investigation, RCMP investigators uncovered “money mules/money mule managers”, who helped launder proceeds of crime within Canada and overseas.
25-year-old Abhinav Bector was charged with fraud over $5,000, possession of proceeds of crime, and laundering of the proceeds of crime.
Bector is scheduled to appear at the Brampton Courthouse on January 18, 2021.
“Fraudsters need to take heed and realize there are consequences to their unlawful activities: criminal charges and prosecution in a court of law. Irrespective of the participant’s role in transnational fraudulent ventures – whether masterminds of the scheme or mules facilitating the money laundering – the RCMP will investigate and bring to justice those who extend the criminal tentacles of their fraudulent operations into Canada,” said Staff-Sgt. 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,” Staff-Sgt. Ken Derakhshan added.
If you receive an e-mail or text message making suspicious tax claims and urging you to click on a link to submit information, don’t interact and report the occurrence to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, through its website www.antifraudcentre.ca, or by telephone at 1-888-495-8501.