It is tax time again and fraudsters will use this opportunity to attempt to scam consumers and businesses out of their hard earned money.
The most common approach fraudsters’ use is impersonating the real Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Whether by telephone or by email. the pitch involved one of two variations. The fraudsters are phishing for identification or asking that outstanding taxes be paid by a money service business or pre-paid debit/credit cards.
There is notification by phone or email from the “CRA” claiming there is a refund pending. In order for the recipient to receive the refund they must provide personal information.
Consumers and businesses receive a notification by phone or email that they owe “back taxes” as the result of an audit. The payment must be made immediately to avoid a fine or the recipient is told there is an outstanding warrant that can be avoided if the payment is made promptly. In many cases, individuals are told they will be deported if the taxes are not paid right away.
- Do not take immediate action. Verify that what you are being told is the truth.
- Ask yourself why the CRA would be asking for personal information over the phone or email that they likely already have on file for you as a taxpayer.
- Contact the CRA to confirm that you owe back taxes, or are entitled to a refund, before providing any personal or banking information.
- Toll-free: 1-888-495-8501
Information provided by the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre