Stay Safe from Tax-related Scams and Fraud

November 28, 2016

I have heard from constituents who have received fraudulent communications from people claiming to be from the Canada Revenue Agency. Here is some information to help you discern whether a scammer is attempting to contact you.

Over the phone

The CRA will never use nasty or aggressive language when they call taxpayers. We will never threaten Canadians with arrest or police. If a caller claiming to be from the CRA is threatening and aggressive, the call is a scam and the taxpayer should hang up immediately.

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Payment methods

The CRA will never accept payment by prepaid card of any kind. This includes gift cards and prepaid credit cards. We will also never collect or distribute payments through Interac e-transfer. Any request for payment by prepaid card or e-transfer claiming to be from the CRA is a scam! The accepted methods of payment are online banking, debit card and pre-authorized debit.

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Emails

Emails from the CRA will never ask a taxpayer for personal or financial information, such as a taxpayer’s social insurance number, banking information or credit card number. Emails from the CRA will also never give personal or financial information, and will never contain spelling errors. If a taxpayer receives an email that asks for personal information, especially if it asks to click on a link, the email is a scam. The only time the CRA will send an email that contains links is if a taxpayer calls the CRA to ask for a form or a link to specific information. A CRA agent will send the information to the taxpayer’s email during the telephone call.

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Here is a “Don’t get scammed!” printable pdf for easy reference, or more information can be found at the CRA’s “Protect yourself against fraud” webpage.