Woman gets tax collection hoax caller to admit: 'It's a scam'

By Ben Hooper
An Ontario woman turns the tables on a phone scammer. Screenshot: Dawn Belmonte/YouTube
An Ontario woman turns the tables on a phone scammer. Screenshot: Dawn Belmonte/YouTube

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WOODBRIDGE, Ontario, Aug. 31 (UPI) -- An Ontario woman targeted by a phone scammer managed to trick the caller into admitting the scheme while she recorded the conversation.

Dawn Belmonte of Woodbridge said she received a voicemail Monday night that she recognized as a scam authorities have been warning about: Callers posing as the Canada Revenue Agency and demanding money under penalty of arrest.


Belmonte said she decided to call the number back and gave a fake name, Marisa Silvera.

The scammer told "Silvera" she owed money to the CMS and would be arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police if she didn't pay.

"He was telling me I should pawn things and I should borrow money and asked if I had anything to sell because I was going to go to jail," Belmonte told CBC News.

Belmonte said she cried and told the caller her husband was already in jail for tax evasion before hanging up the phone.

The scammer called her back two minutes later.

"They told me because they felt sorry for me, I only had to pay a small portion and at that point I started to tape," Belmonte said.


The four-minute conversation, which Belmonte posted to Facebook and YouTube, features the scammer encouraging the woman to find money while she cries and explains she didn't have "enough money to buy milk."

Belmonte's crying appears to eventually get to the caller.

"No need to cry, do not worry about anything because what I have told you is totally wrong, this is a scam and I was just trying to take money out of you, OK?" the man can be heard saying in the video.

"I was shocked," Belmonte said. "I was already prepared to go on and on with this guy and when he came out and said he was a scammer I was like 'wow.'"

"Then when I hung up, I thought this is great. I can take this to the police and they can do something with it because he's actually confessed," she said.

Belmonte gave the video to York Police, but investigators said there was nothing they could do because the scammers conceal their locations when they make the calls.

She said Monday was not her last experience with the scammers -- she received a similar voicemail Tuesday morning.

Belmonte called the number back with a CBC camera recording, but the person on the other end of the line backed down and said it was a "wrong number" after she gave them the same false name she had used Monday.


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