Don’t Be Victim to Scammers Posing as the CRA
Fraudsters are thinking up new scams all the time, but you can protect yourself by knowing what to look for.
What the CRA will and will not do:
- The CRA will never email or text message you asking for personal or financial information. If you see this, delete it immediately and move on. If in doubt, call the CRA directly (be careful not to use the number provided in the email or text, as it will also be fake).
- The CRA will not notify you of a refund via an email.
- The CRA will not leave you a voicemail containing personal information of any kind. If you receive a call saying you owe money or asking for information, hang up. Call the CRA back yourself or check your account online to verify any statements that were made.
- The CRA will never ask for payment via interac e-transfer, gift card, cryptocurrency, or prepaid credit cards.
- The CRA will not use aggressive language or threaten you with arrest or sending the police.
- If you have signed up for email notifications though the CRA (via ‘My Account’, ‘My Business Account’ or ‘Represent a Client’) you will only receive the following emails:
- An email verification/confirmation of your online mail registration.
- Email notifications only when new mail is available to view via the CRA secure online portal. All other email is fraudulent, delete it immediately.
**The only exception would be:
If you call the CRA and request specific information, the CRA agent may forward you the information you are requesting but only during the telephone call. This is the only circumstance where the CRA will send you an email containing links.
You can protect yourself by:
- Choosing a tax preparer that you trust – when in doubt, ask for references. Be sure to carefully review your return before filing. If you don’t receive a notice of assessment, follow up – this information belongs to you.
- Keeping your address and all other information current with all government agencies. You wouldn’t want important mail getting into someone else’s hands.
- Keeping your passwords and PINs secret. Don’t write them down or carry them with you.
- Protecting your Social Insurance Number – don’t give it out to anyone and never use it as a piece of ID. Shred all documents containing your SIN number or store in a secure place.
Be aware of what a scam can look or sound like and your chances of being fooled will be less likely.