It's the height of tax season, and that means Canadians are
shifting focus to getting their personal tax returns sent to the
Canada Revenue Agency ("CRA"), if they
have not done so already. During annual tax preparations, most
Canadians expect some correspondence from the CRA— more so
than any other part of the year.
Consequently, fraudsters often exploit this expectation during
tax season to deceive taxpayers into disclosing valuable personal
information such as a social insurance number, credit card number,
bank account number, or passport number.
Here are some tips, so you can avoid falling prey to these
Two prevalent scams are:
Telemarketing scams: Fraudsters attempt to
gain an individual's personal information by pretending to be a
CRA agent, calling the individual over the phone and using
aggressive or coercive tactics such as threatening arrest if a
"debt" is not paid.
Email scams: Fraudsters send fairly convincing
emails that appear to be from the CRA. These emails could contain
threatening content intended to scare the recipient into paying
fictitious "debts," or direct them to a malicious website
where they are then asked to verify their identity by entering
What you should know:
The CRA will never send emails containing a
link or ask you to divulge personal or financial
information via a link. Exception: You call the
CRA to request a form or a link, and the CRA agent potentially
sends you an email with the specific information you requested
while you remain on the phone with them – this is the
only situation in which the CRA may send an email containing a
The CRA will never ask for personal information of any kind by
email or text message.
The CRA will never request payments by prepaid credit
The CRA will not give taxpayer information to another person
unless formal authorization is provided by the taxpayer.
The CRA will never leave personal information on an answering
Criminals can falsify and tamper with Caller
ID – never rely solely on the display information to
confirm the identity of a caller. This is a ploy in recent
If you ever receive a call from someone claiming that you owe an
amount to the CRA, you should always hang up and call the
CRA back at 1-800-959-8281. Alternatively, you can contact
your Crowe Soberman advisor.
If you ever receive an email claiming to be from the CRA,
do not click on any of the links or attachments in the
email. Delete the message from your inbox and then delete
it again from your deleted items folder.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).