Many have heard of scammers pretending to be from the Canada Revenue Agency. You may have even received a call yourself. How do you know what you can trust?
Avoiding this common scam is easier if you know what the CRA will or won’t do. The CRA will never threaten you with arrest or jail for a tax debt and never use e-mail to communicate about taxes. It will not demand that you settle a tax debt by buying gift cards or prepaid credit cards or using Bitcoin.
Be wary if you receive a communication from someone claiming to be from the CRA, especially when asked for personal information such as a social insurance, credit card, bank account or passport number. If you are unsure if the person on the phone is a legitimate CRA employee, ask for the agent’s phone number and call 1-800-959-8281 to validate the call.
If you receive a call demanding immediate payment, check the status of your account online.
A suspicious phone call or message should be reported to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online or by telephone. If you think that you have fallen victim to a scam, contact the police.