It’s tax season, which means there are bad guys out there looking to take advantage of those filing returns, and who may expect to be contacted for whatever reason by the Canada Revenue Agency.
With that in mind, the CRA has published examples of fake emails, letters, and online forms.
“Occasionally, taxpayers may receive, either by telephone, mail, or email, a communication that claims to be from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) but is NOT. In all these cases, the communication requests personal information, such as a social insurance, credit card, bank account, and passport numbers, from the taxpayer. These fraudulent communications are also referred to as scams or phishing.”
They are very clear on their website as to what the CRA does NOT do. Here are those bullet points:
The CRA does not do the following:
- The CRA will not request personal information of any kind from a taxpayer by email.
- The CRA will not divulge taxpayer information to another person unless formal authorization is provided by the taxpayer.
- The CRA will not leave any personal information on an answering machine.
When in doubt, ask yourself the following:
- Am I expecting additional money from the CRA?
- Does this sound too good to be true?
- Is the requester asking for information I would not include with my tax return?
- Is the requester asking for information I know the CRA already has on file for me?
- How did the requester get my email address?
- Am I confident I know who is asking for the information?
Here is are some examples of the scam emails: