(NC) We’ve all gotten texts, emails and calls claiming to be from the Canada Revenue Agency. Some of us may even feel like we hear from scammers more than our loved ones.
But there’s no love here. Fraudsters trick people into providing personal and financial information. Their scams are getting more believable, which means more people are at risk of losing their money.
It’s important to know how to spot a scam so you can protect yourself.
– Demand your personal information claiming they’ll send you a refund;
– insist you take action right away with little explanation;
– scare you into paying a fake debt;
– threaten arrest or deportation;
– request unusual forms of payment such as gift cards, pre-paid credit cards or cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin;
– ask for numbers for your credit card, bank account or passport;
– urge you to visit a fake website to verify your identity; or,
– ask you to click on a link to fill in an online form.
When you get a call, email or text like this, stop and listen to your voice of reason. Before you act:
1) Ask yourself:
– Do I owe them money?
– Is there a reason for them to be contacting me?
– Does this sound too good to be true?
– How does the CRA normally reach me?
2) Check to see if you have a message in your online MyAccount.
3) Delete the scammer’s message or if you’re unsure, call the CRA.
There are real reasons the CRA may need to get a hold of you. When this happens, legitimate employees will provide their name, office location and a callback number. Learn more about what Canada Revenue Agency employees will and won’t do when contacting taxpayers, at canada.ca/be-scam-smart.