Police are warning the public about telephone calls from scammers pretending to be a police officer or a government official.

The warning comes after numerous residents received calls from scammers, investigators said.

"The public should be aware that police do not collect money for the Canada Revenue Agency," Toronto police said in a news release on Thursday.

"Although everyone is at risk of falling victim to these scams, elderly people are among the most vulnerable."

Investigators said a caller will claim that your social insurance number was used to open bank accounts fraudulently and for other illegal transactions.

The caller will provide a fake name, ID number and badge number, police warned.

In some cases, police said scammers will use a program to display the numbers of either the revenue agency or police on the caller ID.

Investigators said victims are asked to send money through Bitcoin to a fake government account.

In some cases, the caller would insist the money be paid by gift cards, other crypto-currencies, credit card, or through Western Union, police said.

According to police, the scammers will threaten to issue an arrest warrant or threaten to send an officer to the victim’s house if they fail to comply.

"Anyone who receives these types of calls should hang up the phone immediately," police said.

Investigators are reminding the public that the CRA will not do the following:

  • send emails with a link and ask you to divulge personal or financial information
  • ask for personal information of any kind by email or text message
  • request payments by prepaid credit cards, gift cards or through Bitcoin or any form of crypto-currency
  • give taxpayer information to another person, unless formal authorization is provided by the taxpayer
  • leave personal information on an answering machine
  • send the police after you

"Don't ever give out any personal information, including identification numbers, passwords or financial information," police said.

If you or anyone you know have fallen victim to a scam, you are encouraged to report it to police, as well as the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.