In recent years, many innocent taxpayers have received calls from scammers posing as CRA representatives. These extortion schemes involve scammers who make threatening calls or send out emails and texts asking individuals to pay fictitious debt to the CRA. Scammers will call asking for personal information such as SIN, credit card number, or bank account number to pay off the debt. Often times, they may even ask individuals to purchase gift cards and mail them to their fake CRA address. Cases such as these may also involve these scammers coaxing taxpayers to reveal their personal information in order to receive a fictitious refund. Other times, the scammers urge individuals to visit a fake website where they are asked to verify their identity by entering personal information. They can also make aggressive and violent threats towards taxpayers by threatening police arrest if debt is not paid.
Unfortunately, many innocent taxpayers have become victims to these scammers and have lost a considerable amount of money.
If you receive a call, an email, or text, from anyone addressing themselves as CRA agents, it is very important that you do not divulge any personal information and contact your accountants or the CRA at 1-800-959-8281 to confirm whether your account is in order. CRA will never send out an email or text message asking you for personal information, request payments by credit cards or gift cards, or leave voicemail messages. Do not click on any link embedded in any email prompting a refund into your bank account.
You can also call the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 to file a report if you believe you have been contacted by these scammers.