Especially at tax time, tax scams become more prevalant as fraudsters attempt to scam business and individuals.
Fraudsters contact people by phone or email and claim to be with the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA). The Scammer will attempt to get
the individual to pay "outstanding" taxes by using prepaid debit or credit cards or a money transfer business (Western Union for example).
The Scammer may also be for your identification - Social Insurance Number, banking information etc. There are at least 2 variations of this scam:
1. There is notification by email or phone that a the "CRA" has a refund pending for the recipient and that the refund will only be released
when certain personal information is provided.
2. Consumers and businesses receive a notification by email or phone that they owe "back taxes" as the result of an audit.
The payment must be made immediately to avoid a fine or possible legal action against them.
In some cases, individuals are told they will be deported if the taxes are not paid right away.
The CRA will not do the following:
Send emails with a link and ask you to divulge personal or financial information. The only time an email link will be provided is if you phone the CRA to request a form or a link for specific information.
The CRA agent will forward the information you are requesting to your email during the telephone call. This is the only circumstance in which the CRA will send an email containing links.
Leave personal information on an answering machine.
Request payments by prepaid credit cards.
Ask for personal information of any kind by email or text message.
Give taxpayer information to another person, unless formal authorization is provided by the taxpayer.