We’re all about trying to keep you safe. We’ve covered general identity theft security before, as well as general social media security, how to save for emergencies – the whole bit. So, seeing as we’re right in the middle of tax season, we want to give you some warnings about current Canadian tax scams that are currently circulating (either by phone, email or text messaging) as well as some general “what to do if…” tips.
The “TD Text Message Scam”
No report (to date) on this affecting Ontarians yet, but according to Burnaby’s RCMP’s Twitter account, some British Columbian cities are being targeted by a “TD Bank Text Message Scam”.
Random cell users are being sent various messages that appear to be coming from the CRA, prompting them to “deposit their income tax return” OR frightening them into believing that their TD account has been suspended. In both cases, the message includes a link that brings you to an illegitimate page, asking for confidential information (such as social insurance numbers, address, etc). The CRA says it is aware of this specific scam and is urging anyone who recieves this suspicious text message to call them directly at 1-800-959-8281.
What should you do if you receive this message? Delete it immediately and call the CRA.
The “We’ll Arrest You If You Don’t Pay Your Back Taxes Now” Phone Scam
This scam has been making it’s rounds since last tax year in Calgary. Victims received a phone call from someone claiming to be from the CRA, and were told that they owed back taxes and would be arrested if they didn’t make immediate payment. The scammers had enough information to make it seem legitimate (name, address and sometimes bank account information).
Keep The Following In Mind
- The CRA will never request any kind of personal information by email or direct you to another website to do so.
- Even if someone else did your taxes for you, you’re still responsible to keep your information safe. If you’re second-guessing your claim, get a second opinion from another tax professional.
- The CRA does not issue any refunds by email money transfer.
- The CRA will never leave your personal information on your voice mail.
- The CRA will never request any information about your identifying documentation, like passports, driver’s license or health card. Never photo-copy/scan/take a picture of these pieces of I.D and provide them if someone claiming to be from the CRA asks for it.
What To Do If You’re Targeted
Don’t click links in emails or texts. You have the right to hang up the phone if something seems suspicious. Regardless of how you’re approached, the best thing to do is to contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and report it. You can file a report online www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca or call them directly phone 1-888-495-8501.
Any scams can also be reported directly to the CRA at 1-800-959-8281.
You can also follow the CRA on Twitter to get up-to-the-second updates about any potential dangers (and alert them if you’re targeted) @CanRevAgency. Learn more about how to protect yourself in all areas of internet activity at GetCyberSafe.ca