Protect yourself - tax scams can be costly
Have you received a suspicious email, telephone call, letter, or text message claiming to be from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)? If the organization or individual is asking for personal information such as your social insurance number, credit card number, bank account number, or passport number, this is a scam.
Keep these facts in mind
The Canada Revenue Agency will never do any of the following:
- send an unsolicited email with a link and ask you to divulge personal or financial information
- ask for any kind of personal information through email or text message
- ask to be paid by prepaid credit cards or gift cards
- leave any of your personal information on an answering machine
- threaten you
Even though these messages may seem convincing, they are scams and you should never respond to them or click on any of their links.
It is important to remember that you are responsible for all information on your tax return, even if a tax preparer or representative does your taxes. To be safe, stay away from tax preparers offering things that seem too good to be true like large refunds or false tax claims, such as fake charitable donations.
To help protect yourself, new this year the CRA has introduced Account Alerts, a fraud prevention service. When you sign up through My Account or MyCRA app, the CRA will notify you by email if your direct deposit information or your home or mailing address has changed, and if mail sent to you by the CRA was returned.
If you think you may have been the victim of a tax scam or have been tricked into giving out your personal or financial information, contact your local police as soon as possible because your financial security and personal identity are at risk. For more information, go to www.cra.gc.ca/fraudprevention.