Beware of fraudulent communications
Occasionally, taxpayers may receive, either by telephone, mail, or email, a communication that claims to be from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) but is NOT. In all these cases, the communication requests personal information, such as a social insurance, credit card, bank account, and passport numbers, from the taxpayer. These fraudulent communications are also referred to as scams or phishing.
Invariably, the communication argues that this personal information is needed so that the taxpayer can receive a refund or benefit payment. Another common scam refers the person to a Web site resembling the CRA's Web site where the person is asked to verify their identity by entering personal information. Taxpayers should not respond to such fraudulent communications.
To better equip taxpayers to identify those communications that do not come from the CRA, the following general guidelines are provided.
The CRA does NOT do the following:
The CRA will not request personal information of any kind from a taxpayer by email.
The CRA will not divulge taxpayer information to another person unless formal authorization is provided by the taxpayer.
The CRA will not leave any personal information on an answering machine.
When in doubt, ask yourself the following:
Am I expecting additional money from the CRA?
Does this sound too good to be true?
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?
Am I confident I know who is asking for the information?
The CRA will continue to post notifications of fraudulent communications as we become aware of them and encourages you to check our Web site should you have concerns.
You will find examples of a fraudulent letter, email, and online refund forms on the CRA's Web site. As per fraudulent telephone calls, a telecommunications provider has recently been leaving messages for individuals and businesses to call the CRA at a 1-800 or 1-866 number. On dialing the number, callers are then asked to call another number at a cost to them. These telephone messages are not from the CRA and should be ignored by taxpayers.
If you have responded to a fraudulent communication and have become a victim of fraud, please contact the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's Phonebusters by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-888-495-8501. For more information, please see Public Safety Canada's Web site at www.publicsafety.gc.ca/prg/le/bs/phsh-adv-eng.aspx.