The CRA issued a warning, as the periodically have to do, to make sure that citizens are aware of some scams being committed via email, phone and mail whereby someone is pretending to be the CRA and they are asking for personal information such as a credit card number, social insurance number (SIN), bank information or passport information.
As in EVERY other situation, if someone, anyone asks you for this information, you should NOT be providing it.
If the CRA wants to contact you for information they already know all this information and will not be asking you for it. Even worse is the fact that the fraudsters are arguing that this personal information is needed so that the taxpayer can receive a refund or benefit payment.
Again, the CRA knows this information and if you are eligible for a program or benefit, they will either enroll you in it automatically or they will send you a letter asking you to call the CRA general enquiries line.
Another common scam refers the person to a Web site resembling the CRA’s Web site where the person is asked to verify their identity by entering personal information.
Again, this is not true. The CRA website is http://www.cra.gc.ca where the “gc” stands for “government Canada” and the “ca” represents that the website is Canadian. If the fraudster persists, please hang up and call the general enquiries line to confirm or call the RCMP (details below).
So just to confirm, and this is from the CRA website;
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?
The CRA will continue to post notifications of fraudulent communications as they become aware of them and encourages you to check their Web site should you have concerns.
Examples You will find examples of a fraudulent letter, emails, and online refund forms from the CRA’s website in the links provided. Notice how shoddy and unprofessional the request are. As per telephone calls, the CRA will occasionally leave messages for taxpayers on their answering machines, including a callback number, and a request for the taxpayer to have their SIN handy when they call, however, it is important to note that not all telephone messages claiming to be from the CRA are genuine. If you have any doubt and wish to verify the authenticity of a CRA telephone number, agent name, or location. you should contact the CRA directly by using the numbers on our Telephone numbers page. For business-related calls, contact 1-800-959-5525 and for individual concerns, contact 1-800-959-8281.
If you have responded to a fraudulent communication and have become a victim of fraud, please contact the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-888-495-8501.
Be careful when giving out personal information to anyone regardless of where they claim to work. The CRA won’t get offended. They’ll try again a different way if necessary.
- Interesting: CRA Employee Fired over Video Game About His Job (intaxicating.wordpress.com)
- Top 10 scams: social media traps, bogus charities, fake texts and more (timescolonist.com)