CRA scams are popular during tax season.

Published On March 19, 2016 | By Joseph (Ken) | Government, Personal tax

CTV News has a news article about the latest Canada Revenue Agency scam.

“The Canada Revenue Agency has issued a warning about a scam that lures victims with a text message that the agency is sending them money via an INTERAC e-transfer.

Police and the CRA became aware of the scam after Canadians who received the message took to social media to warn others.

The text suggests that the CRA has sent the e-transfer, and then asks the recipient to click a link “to deposit your income tax return.”

Recipients are then asked for personal information, such as social insurance numbers, credit card and bank account information, and passport numbers.”

This is the same idea as the email scam where the goal is to get you to offer personal information.

Another scam which I get a lot of frantic calls about are telephone scams.

The CRA did an announcement about telephone scams.

“Ottawa, Ontario, June 10, 2015… The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is noting an increase in telephone scams where the caller claims to be from the CRA but is not, and is asking Canadians to bewarethese calls are fraudulent and could result in identity and financial theft.

Some recent telephone scams involve threatening taxpayers or using aggressive and forceful language to scare them into paying fictitious debt to the CRA. Victims receive a phone call from a person claiming to work for the CRA and saying that taxes are owed. The caller requests immediate payment by credit card or convinces the victims to purchase a prepaid credit card and to call back immediately with the information. The taxpayer is often threatened with court charges, jail or deportation.”

The other day I got a voice recording from an individual presenting themselves as a CRA auditor and threatening me based on a (non-existent) unpaid CRA debt.  When I called the 604 number back, I asked him a few questions but he hung up on me and blocked the number.  

“The CRA:

  • never requests prepaid credit cards;
  • never asks for information about your passport, health card, or driver’s licence;
  • never shares your taxpayer information with another person, unless you have provided the appropriate authorization; and
  • never leaves personal information on your answering machine or asks you to leave a message containing your personal information on an answering machine.

When in doubt, ask yourself the following:

  • Is there a reason that the CRA may be calling? Do I have a tax balance outstanding?
  • 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 or telephone number?
  • Am I confident I know who is asking for the information?”

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About The Author

Joseph (Ken)
(Ken) is a Registered Public Accountant with over 25 years of public practice experience in the accounting profession. Ken specializes in accounting information systems, taxation and financial reporting.

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