Currie’s Corner 658, September 20, 2018
Might we be living the vision of the future that was laid out by the late Marshall McLuhan ? The Canadian prairie boy, who never received an e-mail or an Instagram before he died in 1980, wrote about a ‘Global Village’. In some of his musings, which weren’t all that easy to follow, he seemed to be describing a lot of what we have in 2018, including some of the dark side.
A major investigation by CBC Marketplace has identified Mumbai India as the home base of a major scam that has seen Canadians robbed of millions of dollars by telephone fraudsters.
They pose as collection agents for the Canada Revenue Agency, and they threaten to lock people up and throw away the key if they don’t immediately settle an outstanding tax bill. Like most of the scams that reach us on the phone, or via the internet, this one includes lots of ‘red flags’ that should easily identify it for what it is. The language used is barely above gibberish. Even those of us who hate anything to do with government are aware that Ottawa does not bully Canadians in this manner. We know enough to hang up the phone and carry on. But it’s a different story if you are aging and easily confused by technology. It’s also a different story if you come from
a place where the people in charge are in fact dangerous bullies.
Marketplace tells the story of a 63 year old man from Iran who was robbed of more than $100,000 by the scammers, money that he definitely could not afford to lose. It’s easy to be smug and dismiss the victims in cases like this as stupid people who should have known better, but that is cruel beyond belief.
Crimes like this, because they cross international boundaries, fall under the jurisdiction of the RCMP. Apparently they have made almost no effort to contact authorities in India.
Shame and double shame, and let’s do better .
I’m Roger Currie