Tax scams

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) continues to receive reports associated to tax scams targeting Canadians by email and phone. Tax scams can involve two variations:

The first involves fraudsters calling consumers impersonating the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), claiming a recent audit has identified discrepancies from past filed taxes. Repayment is required immediately. Fraudsters threaten consumers that failure to pay will result in additional fees and/or jail time or deportation. Fraudsters request payment by a money service business or pre-paid cards / gift cards (iTunes).

The second involves consumers receiving an email indicating a refund is pending from the CRA. The email includes a link that directs consumers to a website that mimics the actual CRA. Consumers are urged to input their information before receiving the refund (email money transfer). Victims that input their information, including Social Insurance Number (SIN), Date of Birth (DOB), banking information, are subject to identity fraud. No refund is ever issued.

Warning Signs – How to Protect Yourself

  1. The CRA will never ask for personal information through an email or text message or by clicking on a link.
  2. The CRA will never request payment by prepaid credit cards or iTunes gift cards, and it does not send emails containing details of a tax refund or Interac e-transfer payments.
  3. The CRA advises Canadians to confirm the status of their tax accounts before taking any action that may be the result of pressure from suspicious calls or emails, and to verify the legitimacy of the communication by contacting the CRA directly at 1-800-959-8281 or by checking My Account or My Business Account.
  4. For more information about fraud scams involving the CRA, visit Protect yourself against fraud.
  5. If you've shared personal information, contact Equifax and Trans Union to place fraud alerts on your account.
  6. If you've shared banking information with the scammers, contact your financial institution to place alerts on your account.

Were you a victim?

Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
Toll-free: 1-888-495-8501

Competition Bureau of Canada
Toll-free: 1-800-348-5358

Ontario Provincial Police
Toll-free: 1-888-310-1122

Financial Consumer Agency of Canada
Toll-free: 1-866-461-3222

Better Business Bureau
(BBB Locator Tool)


Fraud: Recognize, report and stop it!

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