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  • Writer's pictureSelena Tougas

Beware of Scams Claiming to be CRA

Updated: Oct 7, 2019

Have you received a suspicious phone call, email, letter or even a text message from “CRA” informing you that you owe money, have a tax refund or can get a tax break? You are not the only one!

Every day, Canadians are subject to these types of scams. Over the past several years, dozens of call centers have used a phony CRA scheme to swindle an estimated amount of more than $10 million from their prey. The victims are often the most vulnerable – the elderly or new immigrants to Canada.

The threats used can be intimidating and frightening - no one wants to go to jail for unpaid taxes!

Here are some quick guidelines to identify if the communication you receive is from CRA:

If you receive a call saying that you owe money to CRA, you can confirm by calling CRA at 1-800-959-8281 or by checking “My Account” online.

CRA will not:

  • Send email with a link and ask you to divulge personal or financial information;

  • Ask for personal information of any kind by email or text message;

  • Request payments by prepaid credit cards, gift cards or cryptocurrency;

  • Give taxpayer information to another person, unless you have provided formal authorization;

  • Leave personal information on an answering machine; or

  • Threaten with arrest or police.

If you have signed up for online mail (My Account, My Business Account, and Represent a Client), CRA will:

  • Send a registration confirmation email to the address you provided for online mail service for an individual or a business; and

  • Send an email to the address you provided to notify you when new online mail is available to view in the CRA's secure online services portal.

Always be vigilant with these fraudulent communications and do not divulge any information.

Guard your personal information

Click on the link to find more details about how to protect yourself, examples of fraudulent communications and what to do if you have been a victim:

Government of Canada - Fraud Information

Please do not be embarrassed if you have fallen for a scam – they can be sophisticated and take advantage of our fears. It is important to reach out if you have lost private information or money, in doing so you might help prevent others from falling victim to the same fraudulent scheme.

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