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Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Fraud

During tax season in particular, we invite you to be vigilant and avoid falling for fraudulent activities by scammers claiming to be Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) representatives.

These scammers often use two similar approaches. They claim to be representatives from these agencies, either by phone or by email. They use phishing (fake website or links to click on) to try and gain access to personal information, or request that amounts be paid by fund transfer or prepaid credit or debit card. When scammers ask for a payment, they require that the amount is paid using iTunes or Google Play prepaid cards or Bitcoin for example.

The two strategies used

  • People receive a call or email telling them that they are entitled to a refund. They just need to provide personal information to claim it.
  • People receive a call or email, saying that following an audit, they have unpaid taxes. They are told to make a payment immediately to avoid having to pay a fine, or to pay the amount as soon as possible or they may be arrested.

Prevention tips

  • The CRA never asks for personal information by email. If you receive such an email, do not respond and do not click on any links in the email.
  • Do not systematically take what appears on your call display or the revenue agency logo appearing in an email to be confirmation of the solicitors' authenticity. Some software can modify real phone numbers.
  • If there is even the slightest doubt, check the call's authenticity before disclosing personal information or transferring money. One way you can do this is by asking for the caller's name and telephone number, and calling them back once you have verified their identity. In 99% of cases, the scammers will hang up because they do not want to be tracked down.

Find out more

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website contains lots of useful information on these activities, including examples of fraudulent emails and telephone calls. To check the authenticity of a request for personal information or money, contact the Canada Revenue Agency at 1-800-959-7383, or Revenu Québec at 514-864-6299.

If you are a victim or witness of fraud, dial 911 or visit a local police station to file an event report.

To report fraud or for more information on current fraudulent activities, log on to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre's website.