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It’s tax time again. If you are like others, you may feel overwhelmed by the process. Sadly, scammers are aware of this and take advantage of people's fears by trying to steal money and gain unauthorized access to personal data and financial details. The Canada Revenue Agency has seen a dramatic increase in the sophistication of scam attempts, so it is essential that you learn the difference between legitimate communication and a scam from the CRA. The best way to protect yourself from potential fraud is by learning the signs.
Numbers from the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre show that direct calls remain the number one means of solicitation for fraudsters.
Although the CRA may contact you via phone to review your income tax and benefit return, it's important to note that legitimate government employees will always identify themselves with their name, employee number, and phone number.
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) might email you:
- to let you know that a new message is available on your CRA website account.
- to send you a link for a webpage, form, or publication that you requested during a call or meeting with a CRA representative.
- to let you know about tax credits and benefits for individuals or online services such as My account.
The CRA will not send text messages, or instant messages (Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp) to start a conversation with you under any circumstances.
If you receive a text or instant message purporting to be from the CRA, prompting you to click on a link or requesting information, you can safely delete it.