Trebles all ‘round to CTV parliament hill hack Glen McGregor, who this week pulled a page from his old Frank Prank playbook and out scammed the “CRA” phone scammers.
After receiving a pre-recorded scam call warning of his imminent arrest for back taxes, the Robocalls gumshoe called back the “CRA” agent and staged a performance art vignette reminiscent of his classic 90s calls to politicians and assorted Great Canadians™ as an operative of the satirical press.
Zambonis Up The Zambezi (Mar. 17, 1994):
McGregor’s first-ever prank, circa 1994, was aimed at Reform Party MPs. The premise: That the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) was handing out taxpayer dosh to developing countries (seemingly lost on Reform MPs was the fact that this was CIDA’s mandate, but, you know, darkies!)
Masquerading as a reporter from United Press Services, McGregor called up 10 Reform MPs to get their response to the fake news that CIDA was sending Zambonis to the East African nation of, er, Chapati:
Phil Mayfield (Cariboo-Chilcotin): “Where’s Zambota?”
McGregor: “It’s Chapati.”
Mayfield: “…considering the machinery that’s lined up in the jungle out there doing nothing because there are people who don’t know how to operate it…I’m astounded to hear it. Have we put in these arenas and ice-making equipment?”
Myron Thompson (Wild Rose)
“Are there things money could be spent on…in that, uh, reserve?”
Dave Chatters (Athabasca) “I don’t know how Zambonis will do a lot for empty bellies and starving people…”
“I Gave at the Office” (Dec. 17, 1995):
As the clouds of Airbus darkness gathered over Byron Muldoon, his former colleagues and political cronies were left with difficult choices. Should they: a) step forward to pledge public support of the ex-PM; b) distance themselves as quickly as possible; or, c) hide in the shadows and hope nobody asked their opinion.
When he was prime minister Muldoon never tired of reminding his caucus colleagues about the value of loyalty and fidelity. “Ya dance with the one who brung ya!” (“No whore like an old whore!,” shurely?!—ed.)
To gauge the level of support among Muldoon’s erstwhile cronies, McGregor called up a gaggle of former cabinet ministers, senators and hangers-on and begged for donations to help pay Muldoon’s legal bills:
McGregor: “We’re trying to raise $500,000 to help underwrite the cost of Mr. Mulroney’s legal defence. I was wondering if you were in a position to help him out?”
Barbara McDougall (Muldoon’s minister of employment in 1988): “I’m not a corporate giant.”
McGregor: “You know what I could do? I could just put you down for a really small amount. I can put you down for $25.”
McDougall: “Oh, it will be more than that, but not much. Put me down for $50 and I’ll see when I go through if I can do a little bit more.”
Michel Cogger (appointed to the senate by Muldoon in 1986): “Heh, heh. I’m afraid I can’t. No offence, and please—if I could, if I can, I will. I have very hefty legal bills myself. (In 1998, Cogger was convicted of influence peddling.)
McGregor: “Even a small amount. We could put you down for $25.”
Cogger: “Let me see and I will do my utmost.”
Joe Clark: “[LONG PAUSE] You better send me a note if you don’t mind.”
Alan Gottlieb (Appointed ambassador to the US by Muldoon):
“I’ll consider it and be in touch.” (We’re still waiting.)
Grand total pledged: $50.
This week, McGregor scammed the “CRA.”
“CRA”: “Investigation division of Canada Revenue Agency, how can I help?”
M: “Yes, I had a call that I’m having some kind of investigation against me….”
“CRA”: “I need your name so I can pull up your file.”
M: “It’s Glen. G-l-e-n. McGregor. M-c-G-r-e-g-o-r”
“CRA”: “Well, Mr. ‘Glane’ I have your file in front of me. … the reason behind the call is that we have done a random audit on your tax file of the last few years and we have found that there were several miscalculations in your tax filing… do you have a lawyer who can represent you in the courts for this case?”
M:: “Oh, gosh, no. I don’t have a lawyer. I didn’t think that would have happened. I thought my taxes were OK.”
“CRA”: “Do you even realize that the local RCMP…the Royal Canadian Mounted Police… is having an arrest warrant under your name and they will arrest you (unintelligible).
M: “Oh, no, you mean I could go to jail?”
“CRA”: “Are you telling me you’re not aware about this case?”
M: “No, I’m very concerned. I don’t want to go to jail.”
“CRA”: “So do you want me to go ahead and read out those case papers, from which you can come to know each and everything about the case.”
M: “Oh, jeez, I guess I’d better, huh?”
“CRA”: “My name is Officer Sam Roy and my badge ID is P256953.
M: “OK, got that.”
“CRA”: “Where are you right now?”
M: “I’m at my office.”
“CRA”: “Alright, leave your office right now and find a place outside where you can sit and talk to me alone, because the information I am giving is very confidential.”
“CRA”: If You don’t leave your office I’m sending the RCMP officer to your office and they will arrest you in front of all office members.”
M: Oh, no, please don’t do that. That would be embarrassing.”
M: “Are you in India?”
M: This sounds like a scam call. Because that address I gave you is totally fake, I don’t live at that address. And you said it matched my records.