Phone scammers continue to call individuals pretending to be employees of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) in order to trick them into making payments. To ensure you don’t fall victim to these types of scams, it is important that you know when and how the CRA might contact you.
A common reason the CRA might contact you is to let you know that your tax or benefit return is being reviewed. They’ll contact you via letter, phone call, or an email indicating that a letter is available in your My Account.
CRA employees who contact you will identify themselves as CRA agents and provide their name and a telephone number, that’s how CRA contacts you. We recommend that you make sure the caller is a real CRA employee before providing any information over the phone. To do this:
- Tell the caller you want to verify their identity
- Ask for and note their name, phone number, and office location
- Check that the call you received is legitimate by contacting the CRA at a number that you look up on the CRA website and not one provided to you by the caller
- Call the CRA employee back if they are indeed a legitimate employee to discuss the reason for their call
There are some red flags to be aware of that suggest the caller is actually a scammer. These include:
- They are unable to provide you with proof of working for the CRA, such as their office location
- They are pressuring you to act now and provide personal information urgently
- They are asking you to pay with gift cards, cryptocurrency, or some other more unusual form of payment
- They ask for information you would not include on your tax return or that is not related to money you may owe the CRA, such as a credit card number
- They recommend that you apply for benefits and offer to apply on your behalf
If you believe you may be the victim of fraud or you unknowingly provided personal details to a scammer, contact your local police service, financial institution, and credit reporting agencies. You can also report a scam by visiting www.antifraudcentre.ca.
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