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Phishing

Scam medium:

  • Email and text

Targeting:

  • Individuals

On this page

What is phishing?

Criminals use tactics to trick you into giving your personal information or clicking on links. These tactics could be:

For example, a scammer could send an email, text, social media or voice message that appears to be from a recognizable institution or company, such as:

The message may claim that you need to update your account or that your tax refund is ready. Whatever the message is, it's an attempt to trick you into providing your personal or financial information.

A variation of phishing scams are messages with minimal text that encourage you to click on links or download attachments. The message may seem to be a receipt from a recent purchase, a delivery notification, or something more urgent, such as a notice to appear in court. If you click on the link or attachment, your computer is infected with a virus or malware.

Phishing lures

Common phishing lures include:

What can phishing lead to?

Quick prevention tips

Examples of phishing messages

The following images are examples of phishing messages. Never click suspicious links and don't trust that the sender is who they say they are. If you get a message similar to the ones below, report it to the CAFC and then delete the message.

This is a screenshot of a fraudulent text message claiming to be from the Canada Revenue Agency. The text message has grammatical errors. It provides an email address and link claiming that "As promised, your return for the Anti-Inflation Benefit from CRA are here." It includes your personal information to make you think that they are legitimate but it is a scam.

This is a screenshot of a fraudulent email impersonating the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). This example has an English version followed by a French version. The email looks like an automated message sent from the CRA, notifying you that you have "new mail online" and that you need to click on a link to sign into your CRA "My Account" to read it. However, the sender's email address is not from the CRA. This is a phishing attempt.

This is the continuation of a screenshot with the French version of a fraudulent email impersonating the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The email looks like an automated message sent from the CRA, notifying you that you have "new mail online" and that you need to click on a link to sign into your CRA "My Account" to read it. However, the prior screenshot image includes the sender's email address which is not an email address from the CRA. This is a phishing attempt.

This is a screenshot of a fraudulent email impersonating the CAFC. This example is in English only but the appearance and gist of the message remain an important warning for all. The emails look like the automated emails sent when the CAFC receive a file through our Fraud Reporting System. The email asks you to click on a link to view your report. This is a malicious link and a fraudulent message.

This is a screenshot from a fraudulent text message claiming to be from Rogers and offering you a credit. It says "Hello rogers here 'Y' for credit back."

This is a screenshot of a fraudulent text message claiming to be from the Government of Québec. The text message says (translation): "CAQ (Coalition Avenir Québec). An incentive of $500 has been sent to the residents of Québec. See [malicious link] March 25, 2022."

This is a screenshot of a fraudulent text message being sent around. The text says "Your vehicle has an outstanding parking-Infraction that must be settled by 05/13/2022. See" and provides a malicious link for the recipient to click. This is a phishing scam.

This is a screenshot of a fraudulent text message being sent around. The text says "Service Ontario: As you know, we have removed licence plate stickers on all vehicles, so we are giving you back $120.00 CAD. Get hold of it here: [malicious link] *Data rates may apply."

This is a screenshot of a fraudulent text message. The text says "Alberta MMS! We noticed a mistake on your impost because of the recent grant. We sent you $143.70 as a compensation. Get hold of it here [malicious link]"

This is a screenshot of a fraudulent text message claiming to be from the Government of Canada. The text says "Canadian-benefit.gov@outlook.com Subj: 100001 Government of Canada sent you $540.00 (CAD) and the money is waiting to be deposited into your bank account. Message: Government of Canada has started to sending out federal payment by e-Transfer. Click hereto deposit your finds: [malicious link] Reference number: CA2vSg6e Data rates may apply."

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