The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is warning Canadians to be careful of emails, voice mails, even mail claiming to be from the CRA. These are phishing scams that could result in identity thefts. Email scams may also contain embedded malware, or malicious software, that can harm your computer and put your personal information at risk of compromise. The CRA does not email Canadians and request personal information.
CRA is warning Canadians that they should especially beware of phishing scams asking for their personal information, such as a social insurance, credit card, bank account, and passport numbers. Some of these scams ask for this personal information directly, and others refer the taxpayer to a Web site resembling the CRA’s where the person is asked to verify their identity by entering personal information. The fraudsters seem to be well aware that when offered money, especially from the CRA, Canadians let down their guard.
Again remember CRA does not email Canadians…
An email scam that has been recently circulating notifies taxpayers that a complaint has been filed against them due to their involvement in a tax evasion scheme and requests the taxpayer provide financial reports for verification. This email is not from the CRA. Another common scheme informs taxpayers that their tax assessment has been verified and they are eligible to receive a tax refund.
When you have received any communication claiming to be from the CRA, you should immediately take it to your Tax Preparer for review. Experienced Tax Preparers will know immediately a fake letter and contact CRA with any concerns.
Ask yourself the following questions:
• First and foremost if it is an email; it is fake! (CRA does not email Canadians)
•Am I expecting additional money from the CRA? (If no be suspicious)
• Does this sound too good to be true? (Then it is…)
• Is the requester asking for information I would not include with my tax return? (CRA will ask for additional information when reviewing or auditing a tax return. This would not include requesting your Banking, Credit Card, or other financial information)
• Is the requester asking for information I know the CRA already has on file for me?
• Am I confident I know who is asking for the information?
If you wish to verify the authenticity of a telephone number left on your voicemail, contact the CRA by using the telephone numbers listed on the CRA website. For business-related calls, contact 1-800-959-5525 and for individual concerns, contact 1-800-959-8281.
If you have had your tax return professionally prepared, contact your preparer to have them deal with any and all communications with CRA. They are professionally trained to efficiently deal with any problems that may arise.
Brought to you by Tim Manery, B. Comm., DFA, M2 Financial Solutions