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Protect yourself against fraud

scam Slam the scam

Tax season scams involve fraudsters who try to dupe you into believing they represent the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). These dishonest communications try to trick you into sending either payment for an outstanding amount or personal details about you they can use to commit fraud.
Here are a few examples of the scam messages you might receive by email, a phone call or by text:

  • “You have a tax refund available. Click here to receive your deposit.”
  • “You have an outstanding amount owing to the CRA. We will be contacting a collection agency if you don’t contact us now.”
  • “Good news. You have a tax refund of $650. Click here to fill in the online form here to claim your refund.”

How can you spot a tax season scam?

  • Calls, emails and texts can sound or look authentic
  • Emails will use government logos, or a caller will identify themselves as calling from the Canada Revenue Agency
  • Frequently, messages and callers will threaten you.

Most times, it’s easy to spot the red flags that indicate the communication is a fake:

  • Does the call make a threat and ask you to pay in bitcoin or gift cards?
  • Is there a sense of urgency to the call or message?
  • Is there a warning that they’ll contact the police?
  • Do you have to click on a link to verify your identity?
  • Are you being asked for personal information to resolve the debt, or receive your payment?

The CRA has a Scam Alert website, including tips on the latest scams and how you can verify if it really is the Government that is lawfully trying to contact you.
Remember, the CRA will never:

  • send an email with a link asking you to divulge personal or financial information
  • send you an email or a text with a link to your refund
  • call you and threaten you with arrest or that they will send police
  • demand you pay by e-transfer, bitcoin, prepaid credit card or gift cards

Further, the CRA will never use texts or instant messages to start a conversation with you under any circumstance.
What should you do if you think you might have been victimized?
If you receive a call saying you owe money to the Government, hang up and call the CRA yourself. Individuals can reach them toll free at 1-800-959-8281 and businesses can dial 1-800-959-5525. You can also check your online CRA account at the Government of Canada Sign In page.
If you have, or even think you have divulged information like your banking details contact your financial institution immediately.
You can also contact our office to ask us if a message or caller is really legitimate.

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Monday, 22 July 2024