There are several scams circulating right now that can make tax payers panic! These have been around for years but have been on the rise as of late according to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website.
Someone posing as a CRA agent leaves a message on your answering machine with a number to call back or speaks with you directly. They will tell you that you owe an incredible amount of money (a recent call was $90,000) and that you have to pay it immediately or the RCMP is coming to arrest you, or they threaten to garnish your wages, or take you to court and sue you. If you get a call of this nature and speak to a person, tell them that you are hanging up immediately and calling the official CRA Number for verification. If they leave a message on your answering machine, DO NOT CALL THE NUMBER given. Instead, call the official CRA helpline at 1-800-959-8281, report it and ask them to confirm that you do NOT owe $90,000!
It’s a very simple email that states that CRA has determined that you have a refund waiting for you but you have to register and log in to get it. First of all, if CRA really did have a refund, they have your address and in most cases, your banking information and would simply deposit it into your bank account or mail you a cheque. DO NOT click on any links provided.
The process for registering for a CRA account is done online on the CRA website and it takes about 7-10 business days to process as they send you a password in the mail that you must use to verify your account. CRA does NOT email individuals except to let them know that they have mail in their online account. No personal information is ever exchanged in emails from CRA.
Remember “Knowledge is Power!” so protect yourself and your information by never falling victim to the sharks out there!
For more information about fraudulent emails and phone calls, please visit the CRA website at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/