They’re back! Emails from Canada Revenue Agency.

By Randall Orser | Personal Income Tax

Taxes On Calculator Shows Income Tax ReturnWell, they never actually seem to leave really. It seems once tax time rolls around people start getting an email from Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Since CRA never uses email, these are always fraudulent. Question any email you get from CRA, and report it to them, so they can stop these scammers. Of course, be diligent throughout the year too.

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) warns all taxpayers to beware of telephone calls or emails that claim to be from the CRA but are not. These are phishing and other fraudulent scams that could result in identity and financial theft.

You should be especially aware of phishing scams asking for your information such as credit card, bank account, and passport numbers. The CRA would never ask for this type of information. 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. Taxpayers should not click on links included in these emails. Email scams may also contain embedded malicious software that can harm your computer and put your personal information at risk.

Examples of recent email scams include notifications to taxpayers that they are entitled to a refund of a specific amount, or informing taxpayers that their tax assessment has been verified and they are eligible to receive a tax refund. These emails often have CRA logos or Internet links that appear official. Some contain obvious grammar or spelling mistakes.

To better equip taxpayers to identify possible scams, the following guidelines should be used. The CRA:

  • NEVER requests information from a taxpayer about a passport, health card, or driver’s license.
  • NEVER divulges taxpayer information to another person unless the taxpayer provides formal authorization. Such as a T1013 or RC59.
  • NEVER leaves any personal information on an answering machine or asks taxpayers to leave a message with their personal information on an answering machine.

When in doubt, ask yourself the following:

  • Am I expecting additional money from the CRA?
  • Does this sound too good to be true?
  • Is the requester asking for information I would not include with my tax return?
  • Is the requester asking for information I know the CRA already has on file for me?
  • How did the requester get my email address or telephone number?
  • Am I confident I know who is asking for the information?
  • Is there a reason that the CRA may be calling? Do I have a tax balance outstanding?

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

Heartbleed Bug

Though this doesn’t have anything to do with email scams, I thought it prudent to warn you that there was some social insurance numbers compromised, approximately 900. CRA is contacting all those that are affected via registered mail, not telephone or email. If your SIN was compromised you will get this registered letter, or probably have already gotten one. To fine out more information go to http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/gncy/sttmnt2-eng.html.

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