Staying Safe During Tax Season

As tax season nears, we begin to collect all the necessary paperwork and fret over whether we will have to hand over even more of our hard-earned money to the government. It is also the time of year that questionable phone calls and emails start coming in.

Tax season could become the CRA tax scam season.

How to Protect Yourself From Tax Fraud - Stay Safe Online

 

CRA tax scams come in various forms – via phone calls, emails, or text messages. Typically, the caller or email sender poses as an agent or representative from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) in an attempt to gather personal information (such as name, social security number, date and place of birth, mother’s maiden name etc.) or intimidate an individual into providing financial payment. These types of scams have become so common that the CRA has put together tips on how to stay safe and how to report scams.

Here are some highlights from that page:

The CRA will never:

  • Give or ask for personal or financial information by email and ask you to click on a link
  • Send an email with a link to your refund
  • Demand immediate payment by Interac e-transfer, bitcoin, prepaid credit cards or gift cards from retailers such as iTunes, Amazon, or others
  • Use aggressive language, threaten you with arrest, or a prison sentence
  • Set up a meeting with you in a public place to take a payment
  • Contact you via text messages or an instant messaging application (such as Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp)

 Here are some examples of tax scams:

     1) Sample of text message received on mobile phone

         

 

      2) Sample of Tax phishing email