CRA Scams


Be AWARE! Fraudsters posing as agents of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) are making threatening phone calls and sending imposter emails. These imposters are phishing for your personal information; please do not share it.

Please advise any caller that you will not share personal information, hang up, and phone the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center at 1-888-495-8501.

If you receive an email that you suspect is fraudulent or suspicious, NEVER click on any links or open attachments. Delete the email and then immediately delete it from your trash.


HOW THE CRA WORKS:

  • They never ask for information about your passport, health card, or driver's license.
  • They never share your taxpayer information with another person, unless you have provided the appropriate authorization.
  • They never leave or ask you to leave voicemail messages containing personal information.
  • They never request prepaid credit cards.
  • They never request personal information by email.
  • They never make calls threatening arrest or seizure of bank accounts and assets.
  • They never send the police or jail/deport anyone.
For more information, check out this CRA page on 'What to expect when the Canada Revenue Agency calls you'.

  • Am I expecting 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?
  • Are they asking for information I know the CRA already has on file for me?
  • How did they get my email address or telephone number?
  • Am I confident I know who is asking for the information?

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF TO HELP IDENTITY A SCAM:


HOW THESE FRAUDSTERS WORK:

  • They make accusations using threatening and aggressive language, such as saying:
    • Your taxes are in arrears and you must pay the outstanding amounts immediately or they will freeze your bank accounts and personal assets. Usually the amount is between $700 - $2,500 so they can be payable through a line of credit or credit card.
    • CRA has issued a warrant for your arrest or deportation because back taxes have not been paid. They threaten that the police are on their way to arrest you.
    • You are under investigation because you have been involved in a fraudulent activity.
    • Your tax returns have been audited and you owe money.
  • They may suggest that you are to receive a refund. The amount will be deposited in your bank account by Interac e-Transfer® but they need your bank account number to make the deposit. They may ask for your social insurance number, driver's license number and birth date to confirm they are talking to the right taxpayer. However, this means that, not only can they access your bank account, but now they have some of your unique information that could be used to steal your identity.
  • They will counter your objections by assuring you that, if you pay immediatley or even make a deposit toward the total, they will not proceed with collections or will 'call off' the police.
  • They may even provide you with a number to call if you wish to confirm that they are from the CRA. Of course, this is a false number to one of their fellow fraudsters who will answer the phone as if they were the Canada Revenue Agency Collections Department.

If the call sounds too good to be true, the CRA 'agent' uses aggressive language or even if they just ask for information you know is already on file with the CRA, hang up the phone immediately. If you receive email requests, do not click on any links as they could automatically download malware that could put your personal information at risk or harm your computer. Remember to NEVER give out your personal information over the phone or in an email.

If you want to confirm the authenticity of a phone call or email concerning your taxes, call the CRA at 1-800-959-5525 (Businesses) or 1-800-959-8281 (Individuals).

You can also contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre by calling 1-888-495-8501 (Toll Free) or at www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca.

For more information on taxpayer fraud, visit the CRA website at www.cra.gc.ca/security.

HOW YOU SHOULD HANDLE THESE CALLS/EMAILS:

 

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