Occasionally, taxpayers may receive, either by telephone, mail, or email, a communication that claims to be from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) but is NOT. In all these cases, the communication requests personal information, such as a social insurance, credit card, bank account, and passport numbers, from the taxpayer. These fraudulent communications are also referred to as scams or phishing.
Invariably, the communication argues that this personal information is needed so that the taxpayer can receive a refund or benefit payment. Another common scam refers the person to a Web site resembling the CRA's Web site where the person is asked to verify their identity by entering personal information. Taxpayers should not respond to such fraudulent communications.
To better equip taxpayers to identify those communications that do not come from the CRA, the following general guidelines are provided.
The CRA does not do the following:
When in doubt, ask yourself the following:
The CRA will continue to post notifications of fraudulent communications as we become aware of them and encourages you to check our Web site should you have concerns.
You will find examples of a fraudulent letter, emails, and online refund forms on the CRA's Web site. As per telephone calls, the CRA will occasionally leave messages for taxpayers on their answering machines. In these cases, a callback number will be provided along with a request to have the taxpayer's SIN available upon callback. However, it is important to note that not all telephone messages purporting to be from the CRA are genuine. Should taxpayers wish to verify the authenticity of a CRA telephone number, they should contact the CRA directly by using the numbers on our Telephone numbers page. For business-related calls, contact 1-800-959-5525 and for individual concerns, contact 1-800-959-8281.
If you have responded to a fraudulent communication and have become a victim of fraud, please contact the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre by email at email@example.com or call 1-888-495-8501.