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B.C. woman learns someone filed taxes under her name and collected CERB

The culprit opened a CIBC bank account and collected $3,150 in Canada Emergency Response Benefits and three deposits of $450 for other pandemic supports.
The fraudster also changed her status from married to divorced. | Taiyou Nomachi/Digital Vision/Getty Images

A Vernon woman is concerned what other information may be compromised after an identity thief used her name to open a bank account and collected government benefits.

"After playing sleuth, numerous calls to the CRA and their fraud division, turns out someone filed my taxes, opened a bank account, received CERB payments and changed my status from married to divorced," says Krista Frasz.

"Now, I get the fun of proving who I am and where I have been living."

Frasz said the saga began in January, when she received a phone call showing as originating from Newfoundland that her Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) account had been compromised.

Identifying it as a scam, Frasz didn't share any personal information and hung up.

"I didn't think much more about it, then last month I got another call. They gave their 'badge' number, but I wasn't buying it," she says. "I wasn't sending anything anywhere."

Frasz then called the CRA herself and learned someone had filed taxes using her name.

They weren't able to confirm her Vernon address or even the previous West Kelowna address she and her husband had for 20 years.

"They said 'What about Maple Ridge?' and I said 'I've never lived in Maple Ridge.'"

That's where the culprits opened a bank account with CIBC and collected $3,150 in Canada Emergency Response Benefits (CERB) as well as three deposits of $450 for other pandemic supports.

Frasz has registered with the CRA's fraud division and scanned and sent them her legitimate documents as she waits for the situation to be cleared up.

"I sent them my ID confirming who I am."

Meanwhile, her CRA account has been locked.

"I don't know what else could come," she says. "Did they get a credit card in my name, is there potentially debt in my name?"

Then, just this week, Frasz got another call saying her credit card had been compromised.

Thinking it was all related, this time she did give out her personal information. After hanging up, she realized her mistake and then had to make more calls to cancel her cards.

"I was like 'oh my god,' I can't believe it," said Frasz.

As far as she knows, no other areas of her finances have been compromised, but Frasz says the ordeal did bring back memory of an incident that could have been a warning.

"I was trying to do my taxes back in March and couldn't get into my CRA account," she says.

"It didn't really feel like a priority to me at the time. I just thought the site was down or it was something to do with them having reduced service because of COVID. I just thought I'd do my taxes later."

Frasz says there have been "no weird withdrawals" on any of her accounts and she doesn't appear to be out anything. "There's just someone out there using my name."