CRA educates Canadians on how to identify tax-related phone and text scams

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The Canada Revenue Agency is campaigning to make Canadians aware of the many impostors that use the tax agency’s name to solicit money through fraudulent calls, texts, emails, letters and online forms.

The CRA held a “fraud chat” on Twitter on March 29th to bring more attention to the issue and is offering a comprehensive package of information concerning fraud prevention.

To begin with, the agency says if you receive a call saying you owe money to the CRA, you should call or check your online account to ascertain whether there’s any truth behind the statement.

One way to check if the communication is fishy is to see if its breaking any of the CRA’s rules for communicating with Canadians. The agency promises that it will never do any of the following: ask for personal information of any kind by email or text message, request payments by prepaid credit cards, give taxpayer information to another person (unless formal authorization is provided by the taxpayer) or leave personal information on an answering machine.

The CRA also does not condone using threats or vulgar language.cra scam text

Additionally, it doesn’t generally send emails with links asking for specific personal or financial information, though there is an exception: CRA phone representatives may send email links if you request them over the course of a call.

To give Canadians a sense of the forms these scams might take, the CRA provided some specific examples of scams, from real-world phone call transcripts to realistic-looking online refund forms. 

The agency also notes that Canadians should report deceptive telemarketing to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, contact the police if they believe themselves to be the victims of fraud or contact the CRA if they believe their log-in credentials are compromised, among other steps. Find more information on fraud prevention in the source link below.

Source: CRA