Keep An Ear Out for CRA Scammers

Keep An Ear Out for CRA Scammers

CRA scams, CRA scammers, CRA Scams Vancouver

Tax season is over and you can finally take a breath. If you get a call from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) claiming that you owe money or that you are eligible for a refund or benefits, be aware that it could be a scam as there have recently been reports of scammers impersonating CRA collection agents.

How to know if you’re speaking to a scammer

Most scammers use similar tactics such as:

1)   Intimidation

Scammers try and scare people into making quick decisions by using threatening language. They do this because when people are highly stressed they tend to make impulsive decisions they wouldn’t usually make. This is because the part of your brain that manages executive decision-making shuts down under times of great stress so your brain can focus on immediate threats.

Tip: If a person states they are a CRA agent, they will not threaten you with immediate arrest or a prison sentence.

2)   Immediacy

Scammers will ask you to take action immediately so that they can get money from you quickly. They may ask to meet you at an ATM machine or ask you to wire the money to them immediately using prepaid credit cards, iTunes gift cards or simply cash – all suspicious modes of payment.

Tip: The CRA will never ask to meet you in person in a public place to take a payment and will not demand immediate payment by prepaid credit card.

3)   Information grabbing

Scammers will try and gain information from you of any kind by email, text message or by asking you to fill out an online form.

Tip: The CRA will never send you an email with a link and ask you to divulge personal or financial information. There is one exception: If you call the CRA to request a form or a link for specific information, a CRA agent will forward the information you are requesting to your email during the telephone call. This is the only circumstance in which the CRA will send an email containing links.

Next steps if you get a fraudulent CRA call

It can sometimes be difficult to tell if a call is legit. If you are in doubt, always call the CRA at 1-800-959-8281 to check its legitimacy. Remember, if a phone call is legit, the CRA representative will be completely ok with you validating his or her identity.

If you have any questions about the CRA, scam calls, or your taxes, contact us. We would love to help.

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