Due to continuous reports of emails, text messages and phone calls related to tax scams, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and the RCMP are reminding people that tax scams continue to target Canadians.
Because it is tax season in Canada residents should be made aware of possible scams. Featured below are two types of tax scams:
In some cases, fraudsters are calling consumers impersonating the CRA and claiming a recent audit has identified discrepancies from past files taxes. Repayment is required immediately, or else consumers are threatened with additional fees, jail time and/or deportation.
In other cases, consumers receive an email or text message indicating a refund is pending from the CRA. The email included a link that directs consumers to a website that looks like the actual CRA. Consumers are asked to fill in their personal information such as Social Insurance Number, date of birth and banking information. Victims who input their personal information are subject to identity fraud. No refund is ever issued.
The CAFC has given out some tips when it comes to dealing with these scams:
- If you believe you are a victim of a tax scam, contact your local RCMP detachment immediately to report the scam. You can also contact the CAFC at 1-888-495-8501 or by heading to their website.
- If you have sent money, collect as much information as possible, including receipts, copies of emails and text messages. Contact your financial institution to place alerts on your account.
- If you have provided personal information, contact Equifax and Trans Union to place fraud alerts on your account.
- Canadian Revenue Agency never requests payment by Interac e-transfer, bitcoin, prepaid credit cards or gift cards.
- The CRA does call taxpayers on the phone occasionally, but if a call seems suspicious or unprofessional, hang up.
- The CRA never sends emails containing or requesting personal or financial information. If an email tells you how much you owe or how much your refund is, it’s a scam.
- The CRA never uses text messages or instant messaging such as Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp to communicate with taxpayers under any circumstance.
Cpl. A.P. (Andy) Bezanson, Investigator, G Division Federal Investigations Unit: Financial Crime states that the fraudsters are reverting back to more simplistic methods like cash collection and money transfers.
“Our investigation team needs to gather as much information as possible if money is sent because it can potentially be intercepted and it can create effective investigational leads.”