While figuring out the math surrounding your tax receipts, T4s, and RRSP contributions may be a scary task to take on during tax season, the real terror is losing your hard-earned money to scammers pretending to represent the Canadian Revenue Agency.
Be it over the phone, email, text message, or online refund forms, there are many ways that people pretending to be the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) may try to trick you or your loved ones into providing personal information.
The Government of Canada has provided a few resources to help you protect yourself from falling victim to the increasingly prevalent scams.
Here’s what you need to know about these scams, and about the CRA, to keep you safe this tax season.
If you’re trying to determine whether or not the person you’re talking to is actually someone from the CRA, keep in mind the things that the CRA may do — and if the person on the other end of the phone/email chain is doing something outside this list, it’s time to start asking questions:
The following is a list of things that official CRA officers will not do during any communication with Canadians, and if the person you are talking to does any of the following, you’ll know that you have a scam on your hands:
If the person on the other end of the phone is telling you that you must take immediate action, it’s likely a scam call. Look out for if the caller is asking for any information that isn’t related to your tax return, or the money that you may owe the CRA.
Keeping a tab on whether or not you’ve filed your taxes on time, if you’ve received any word from the CRA via email or mail recently, and if the CRA has your most recent contact information is a good way of determining the validity of a caller saying they are contacting you from the CRA.
If the caller is asking you to pay taxes on lottery winnings, it’s definitely a scam. The CRA does not collect taxes or fees on lottery winnings in Canada, according to the Government of Canada webpage.
Here are the best ways to ensure that you keep your personal information safe so that you are less at risk of identity theft.
The Government of Canada has provided a few transcripts of the types of emails, phone calls, and voice mails that scammers leave to scare people into providing their personal information.
If you receive a message that looks or sounds anything like the following, odds are you’re the target of a scam:
The reason behind this call is to notify you that we have registered a criminal case against your name concerning a tax evasion and tax fraud in the federal court house. So if you want any further information about this case, please make sure you give us a call back as quick as possible to our direct hotline number to the Canada Revenue Agency Headquarters. That is 613-927-9919, I will please repeat the number, it is 613-927-9919. If we don’t receive a call from your side, please be prepared to face the legal consequences, as the issue of tax is extremely serious and time-sensitive. So have a blessed time.
INTERAC e-Transfer Reminder : You received money from CRA
Mon 2017 07-17 9:44 AM
To [LINK to personal email has been removed.]
Hi [LINK to personal email has been removed.],
You received $458.00 (CAD) from Canada Revenue Agency.
Deposit your money
Expires: July 28, 2017
FAQs | This is a secure Transaction
Via text message:
If you believe that the person calling/emailing/texting you is doing so for nefarious purposes, the Government of Canada asks that you report the call to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
If you have been tricked into providing your personal or financial information, contact your local police.
If you believe that your Social Insurance Number has been stolen, contact Service Canada by calling 1-800-206-7218.
If any of your tax information, including CRA logins or passwords, has been compromised, contact the Government of Canada through the following link.