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How to Spot a Fraud

Protect Yourself From Scams

Date: March 2018

New types of scam emerge on the daily basis. Therefore, it is very important for taxpayers to be aware of these scams and their possible channels, such as via mails, telephone call or text message. The main question to ask yourself – are they received really coming from Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)?

Do not disclose your personal information like numbers of credit card, bank account number, passport or social insurance. You have to be 100% sure to do that.

Do not disclose your personal information like numbers of credit card, bank account number, passport or social insurance. You have to be 100% sure to do that. These fraudsters might pretend that they need your personal information for the benefit payment or reimbursement. They might also try threatening you to make payments to the CRA which is never true. Some may even ask you to visit a particular website which will look just like a CRA website and you will be asked to provide your personal information. The taxpayers should avoid reacting or respond to these fraudulent communications or follow any links provided.

The following tips will help you distinguish a scam from real types of communication.

Whenever you receive a call about your debts from the CRA, check the status of your account here, before taking any further actions.

In case you are signed up for online notifications, which are available through My Business Account, My Account and Represent Client, the CRA will send you the following:

  • An email address that you provided to notify you whenever there is a new offer or news.
  • A registration confirmation email will be in your inbox of the email address you provided online mail service for an individual or a business.

What CRA will never do:

  • CRA will never send you an email that contains a link asking any of your personal or financial information.
    The exception: you will receive link requesting for your personal information only when you requested for such on call or email from the CRA. This is the only case when CRA will send you an email with external links.
  • Disclose taxpayer information to another individual without formal authorization from the taxpayer.
  • Ask or demand your personal information through text message, email or phone.
  • Leave your personal information on an answering machine.

To eliminate any doubts, answer the following questions before taking any action:

  • Did you sign up for online notifications through any of the CRA accounts?
  • Are you expecting any payments from the CRA?
  • Does an offer is away too appealing to be true?
  • Did you leave your email address on your income tax and benefit return at all?
  • Are there any additional and suspicious questions regarding your tax return?
  • Is someone asking you for the information which you have provided to the CRA already?

In case you really have a debt with the CRA which you can’t afford paying fully, please take an immediate action. More information is available here.

Protect Your Identity From Theft

  • The CRA will never ask for your personal information over the phone or email, please be aware.
  • Tax payments to the CRA are not anyhow related to lottery winnings. Do not fall into this trap. Such requests are definitely scams.
  • Your user ID, password and access codes should not be disclosed to a third party.
  • Your address should be regularly updated with government entities and agencies.
  • Your tax preparer should be someone you trust with positive reputation and references. Double check the content before filing your tax return and follow up to be sure that everything went well. This is your responsibility to take care and check your personal and financial information.
  • Before donating anything to charity, please confirm its registration by visiting this link: There you can find information about the business type of each charity organization too.
  • Some hackers use phishing tools to capture personal information whenever you click on a link, therefore be careful with the links from the emails you receive.
  • Criminals can go a long way to alter caller ID to look realistic. Hence, never base your judgment solely on the caller ID displayed. Instead, confirm the caller’s identity whether it is an individual, company representative or a government entity.
  • Avoid using your social insurance number as a for of your personal identity and reveal it to anyone who's not authorized to know this information. Before providing you with social security number to any organization, be sure that they have legal grounds for its collection.
  • Your billing cycle should not be overlooked. On the contrary, you should be attentive to all transactions and ask for account statements when you suspect something.
  • Dispose of, shred or store the important documents securely. Pay a particular attention to the documents containing yout name and SIN.
  • In case of steal or losing your credit or debit cards, report immediately.
  • It's recommended to carry just one personal ID with you.
  • Passwords are personal and should be kept secured. Don't write them down anywhere or carry with you.
  • When you are on vacation, ask a trusted friend or a neighbor to help you pick up deliveries. To be on a safe side, put your deliveries on hold until you are back from vacation.

Are You a Victim of Fraud?

If you suspect that there is something suspicious about telemarketing don’t hesitate to contact Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre via their website: or phone: 1-888-495-8501

Report to the local police station if you have been defrauded. Once the CRA has confirmed that your personal financial information has been leaked, they will act accordingly to protect your information from any further damage.

In case of a stolen social insurance number (SIN) please contact the CRA at 1-800-206-7218.