We covered ways to protect yourself from identify theft before. With users becoming savvier in spotting online phishing scams, fraudsters and phishers too have evolved.
Phone calls from fraudsters claiming to be from Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) are becoming more common and often increase in frequency around tax time. It is typically an automated message informing the taxpayer of an outstanding balance due to an issue with their tax filing. In some cases, the fraudsters threaten to register a criminal case against the taxpayer for tax evasion or tax fraud.
In moments like these, it is important to KEEP CALM and not panic or respond too quickly!!
If CRA does contact you, remember:
- CRA will never demand immediate payment by Interac e-transfer, bitcoin, prepaid credit cards or gift cards.
- CRA will never send you a link by email or text message to make a payment or accept a refund.
- CRA will never threaten you with arrest or sending the police to your home.
Remember, you are not able to verify the person calling you is truly from CRA. Before providing any information, ask the alleged CRA agent for their name, work section, office location and a number to call them back. Then immediately call your Chartered Professional Accountant. If you do not have a CPA, confirm directly with CRA that they are trying to contact you by calling them at 1-800-959-8281 for individuals and 1-800-959-5525 for businesses.
If you have become a victim of a scam and given personal or financial information to a fraudster, contact your local police service as soon as possible. Sharon was a recent victim of identity fraud so additional suggestions from her personal experience are provided on our Winter 2020 Newsletter.
***This blog is for information only and not to be used as tax advice or planning without first seeking professional advice. Information is subject to change without notice.