Remain vigilant against scammers
The Canada Revenue Agency is reporting an increase in the number of attempted frauds against taxpayers, by telephone, mail, email and text message. Some scammers are trying to trick taxpayers into providing personal information while others try to get them to make unnecessary payments by using threatening or coercive language. In another scam, taxpayers are directed to an online refund form after being told they have overpaid.
If you receive an unexpected or suspicious letter, email, phone call or text from someone claiming to represent the CRA, be cautious. Do not provide personal information. If you are suspicious or do not understand why the CRA would be contacting you, there are several ways you can protect yourself.
Whether you are our client or not, we encourage you to contact us and we can help verify if the communication you received is legitimate or an attempted scam. You can contact the Canada Revenue Agency directly, or visit its fraud prevention web site to learn how to protect yourself from fraud, see examples of various types of frauds, learn how the CRA communicates with taxpayers, and see what type of information it will not ask for.
That information is at: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/scrty/frdprvntn/menu-eng.html
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada also provides information on steps you can take to combat identity theft and fraud, which it says is one of the fastest growing areas of crime in Canada. That information is at:
The CRA will NEVER:
- ask for personal information of any kind by email or text message
- request payments by prepaid credit cards
- give taxpayer information to another person, unless formal authorization is provided by the taxpayer
- leave personal information on an answering machine
- send email with a link and ask you to divulge personal or financial information, unless you have specifically asked a CRA agent to email a link
ALWAYS ask yourself:
- Did I sign up with the CRA to receive online mail through My Account, My Business Account, or Represent a Client?
- Did I provide my email address on my income tax and benefit return to receive mail online?
- Am I expecting more money from the CRA?
- Does this sound too good to be true?
- Is the requester asking for information I would not provide in my tax return?
- Is the requester asking for information I know the CRA already has on file for me?