Given the difficult economic conditions, everyone is eager to get any income tax refund they may be due from the Canada Revenue Agency as quickly as possible. Knowing that, the scam artists try to phish, or in other words get unwary people to give personal information that will allow them to be defrauded. That is why last August, the Canada Revenue Agency warned Canadians of a mail scam.
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is warning taxpayers to beware of a recent scam where some Canadians are receiving a letter fraudulently identified as coming from the CRA and asking for personal information. The letter is not from the CRA. A PDF version of the letter is available on the CRA Web site at www.cra.gc.ca/alert.
The letter claims that there is â€œinsufficient informationâ€ for the individualâ€™s tax return and that in order to receive any â€œclaims,â€ they will have to update their records. The letter attaches a form specifically requesting the individualâ€™s personal information in writing, via fax or email, including information on bank accounts and passports. This letter is not from the CRA and Canadians should not provide their personal information to the sender.
All taxpayers should be vigilant when divulging any confidential information to third parties. The CRA has well established practices to protect the confidentiality of taxpayersâ€™ information.
It appears that the scammers have moved online according to a former CRA employee, who warns all to beware of online tax scams.
Robert Day says taxpayers should be wary of the information they’re willing to give up online during tax season. Even though he worked for the Canada Revenue Agency for 30 years, he fell for the scam.
When Day clicked on a link inside an official looking email that appeared to be from the Canada Revenue Agency, it took him to an official looking website that asked for some personal information. “I don’t know whether I had a short circuit between the earlobes or something,” said Day. “But, I went into this darn site and it had you type in your social insurance number to get into the site.”
If someone with such experience can fall for it, everyone should be doubly cautious when they receive e-mail messages that appear to come from the Canada Revenue Agency.
Today I received the following e-mail message, that purports to come from the Canada Revenue Agency. However unless some staff members at the CRA have inferior spelling skills, this should not fool too many people.
Worm Regards, indeed. It is so ludicrous that one wonders if it is a deliberate spoof. Nevertheless it can serve to warn all that more insidious e-mail scam messages from the Canada Revenue Agency are making the rounds. Remember the CRA will not be contacting you this way and nor will the security departments of your bank or your credit card company.