The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) warns all Canadians to beware of telephone calls, mail, or email that claim to be from the CRA but are not. 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.
Canadians 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.
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.
The CRA has well-established practices to protect the confidentiality of taxpayer information. The confidence and trust that individuals and businesses have in the CRA is a cornerstone of Canada’s tax system. For more information about security of taxpayer information and examples of fraudulent communications, go to www.cra.gc.ca/security.
Anyone who receives a suspicious communication should immediately report it to firstname.lastname@example.org or to the institution that it appears to be from.
For information on scams, to report deceptive telemarketing, and if personal or financial information has been unwittingly provided, go to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Web page at: www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/scams-fraudes/phishing-eng.htm.