Beware of tax fraud schemes. If you get a call or email that sounds like a scam, it probably is. When the CRA contacts you, it makes sure your personal information is protected.
The CRA will never:
- ask for personal information by email or text message;
- request payment by prepaid credit card;
- share your tax information with another person or organization, unless you have agreed that it can be shared;
- leave personal information on an answering machine;
- threaten or use nasty language.
When in doubt, check My Account or call 1-800-959-8281.
To learn more about your personal income tax and benefit information, and to manage your tax affairs online, go to www.cra.gc.ca/myaccount.
For information on scams or to report deceptive telemarketing, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) online at www.antifraudcentre.ca or toll free at 1-888-495-8501. If you believe you may be the victim of fraud or have given personal or financial information by mistake, contact your local police service.
For more information, go to www.cra.gc.ca/fraudprevention.
Fraud Scenario – E-mail phishing
At 80 years old, Irene is excited to use her new computer to keep in touch with her family. One afternoon, she receives a message that seems to be from the CRA claiming that she is entitled to a significant tax refund. The email includes a link to a website asking for personal information, including address, date of birth, and banking information, so that the money can be direct-deposited into her bank account.
Irene doesn’t remember giving the CRA her new email address and is surprised that the CRA is contacting her. What’s more, she has never qualified for similar tax refunds in the past. However, Irene is still getting used to her computer, and assumes that since the email is addressed from the CRA it must be real. She follows the link and fills out her personal information.
Does this scenario sound familiar? Every year, Canadians lose millions of dollars to email phishing scams that result in identity and financial theft. Beware of emails claiming to be from the CRA. The CRA never requests personal information of any kind from a taxpayer by e-mail. Delete phishing emails and do not click on any links; they can carry harmful viruses that can infect your computer.
When in doubt, ask yourself:
- Am I expecting additional money from the CRA?
- Does this sound too good to be true?
- How did the requester get my email address?
Remember if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
A Community News blog post
As part of our communications at West Toronto Support Services (WTSS), we write articles about events and news in the community that closely align with our agency objective of living independently and promoting your health & wellness. An article posted under community news doesn’t necessarily mean we endorse them – they are articles of interest that you can pursue further. We believe a healthy community is a diverse and connected community!
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