Five Facts You Need to Know about Suspicious E-mails. IRS and CRA.

This press release came out from the IRS…

There are many e-mail scams circulating that fraudulently use the Internal Revenue Service name or logo as a lure. The goal of the scam – known as phishing – is to trick you into revealing personal and financial information. The scammers can then use your personal information – such as your Social Security number, bank account or credit card numbers – to commit identity theft and steal your money.

Here are five things the IRS wants you to know about phishing scams.

1.  The IRS does not send unsolicited e-mails about a person’s tax account or ask for detailed personal and financial information via e-mail.

2. The IRS never asks taxpayers for their PIN numbers, passwords or similar secret access information for their credit card, bank or other financial accounts.

3. If you receive an e-mail from someone claiming to be the IRS or directing you to an IRS site,

  • Do not reply to the message.
  • Do not open any attachments. Attachments may contain malicious code that will infect your computer.
  • Do not click on any links. If you clicked on links in a suspicious e-mail or phishing Web site and entered confidential information, visit IRS.gov and enter the search term ‘identity theft’ for more information and resources to help.

4. You can help shut down these schemes and prevent others from being victimized. If you receive a suspicious e-mail that claims to come from the IRS, you can forward that e-mail to a special IRS mailbox, phishing@irs.gov. You can forward the message as received or provide the Internet header of the e-mail. The Internet header has additional information to help us locate the sender.

5. Remember, the official IRS Web site is http://www.irs.gov/. Do not be confused or misled by sites claiming to be the IRS but end in .com, .net, .org or other designations instead of .gov.

And here is how the CRA deals with phishing from my own personal experience working there. 

The CRA does not allow their staff to communicate via email unless you specifically ask for it because the emails are not encrypted and they worry that sensitive data can be hijacked.  As a result of this policy, no one from the CRA will ever ask you for any confidential data.  Even if you get asked for something from the CRA and you are worried it is a scan, you can ask for them to send you a legal document called a request, or requirement, for information which will contain the name of the collector and their manager or the director of the tax office on it for verification purposes. 

Information going or coming to the CRA will always end in @cra.gc.ca or cra-arc.gc.ca (french version).

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Author: Warren Orlans

Welcome to inTAXicating. My name is Warren Orlans and this is my blog. With over 17-years experience in the taxation industry, 11 of them working for the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), and the rest working in the private sector at large financial institutions responsible for resolving tax issues for corporations and individuals and the Canadian lead for a large US bank on FATCA implementation. My tax career began pretty much out of university at the CRA, in Collections, where I moved up, across, over and up again through their division with stops in Enforcement, Taxpayer Relief (then Fairness), Audit, Directors Liability, Training, Mentoring, GST, GST/HST, Payroll, Corporate Tax, Personal tax, and probably much more. If you have a collections, compliance or audit issue with the CRA, inTAXicating is the place you need to contact. inTAXicating works in strategic partnership with amazing tax lawyers, insolvency practitioners, mortgage brokers, debt counselling experts and much more. When dealing with governments, knowledge is power. We possess strong understanding of government so we know what the next step is before the government does. When you have a collections problem with the CRA, do you hire a graphic artist? No, you get a former collector who trained the staff, and who worked as a resource officer for 5 years. Then you know you are on the right track to resolving your tax problem(s). Others offer suggestions. We offer solutions! info@intaxicating.ca

1 thought on “Five Facts You Need to Know about Suspicious E-mails. IRS and CRA.”

  1. I also have a question about the CRA. Would you be able to help me? Can I email you the question? Do you have a consulting practice set up? If you can help me and my client there are substantial funds we are looking at recovering, and I would be more than happy to recommend to them that was pay a consulting fee to you for all you efforts.

    It’s been going on for about 5 years and we seem completely bamboozled by the assessment and the lack of a response.

    I’ll email it to you.

    Thanks again.

    L.

    Like

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