Beware of fraudulent communications

Important notice

The CRA is aware of scams involving email e-transfers of funds. Canadians are reminded that the CRA will only send payments by direct deposit or by cheque – NEVER by INTERAC e-transfer.

Occasionally, taxpayers may receive, either by telephone, mail, text message or email, a fraudulent communication that claims to be from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). In all these cases, the communication requests personal information, such as a social insurance, credit card, bank account, and/or passport numbers, from the taxpayer.

These fraudulent communications typically insist that this personal information is needed so that the taxpayer can receive a refund or benefit payment. Other communications urge taxpayers to visit a fake CRA website where the taxpayer is then asked to verify their identity by entering personal information. These are SCAMS and taxpayers should NEVER respond to these fraudulent communications, or click on any of the links provided.

To better equip taxpayers to identify those communications that do not come from the CRA, the following general guidelines are provided.

If you have signed up for online mail (available through MyAccount, My Business Account and Represent a Client), the CRA will do the following:

  • The CRA will send a registration confirmation email to the address provided once an individual or business has registered for the online mail service.
  • The CRA will also send an email to the address provided to notify you when new online mail is available to view in the CRA’s secure online services portal.

The CRA will not do the following:

  • The CRA will not send emails containing any links.
  • The CRA will not request personal information of any kind from a taxpayer by email or text message.
  • The CRA will not divulge taxpayer information to another person unless formal authorization is provided by the taxpayer.
  • The CRA will not send emails in English or French only: all communications are in both official languages.
  • The CRA will not leave any personal information on an answering machine.

When in doubt, ask yourself the following:

  • Did I sign up to receive my online mail through MyAccount, My Business Account or Represent a Client?
  • Did I provide my email address on my Individual Income Tax and Benefit return to receive my mail online?
  • Am I expecting additional money from the CRA?
  • Does this sound too good to be true?
  • Is the requester asking for information I would not include with my tax return?
  • Is the requester asking for information I know the CRA already has on file for me?
  • How did the requester get my email address?
  • Am I confident I know who is asking for the information?

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.

Examples

You will find examples of a fraudulent letter and online scams that may include, emails, text messages and online refund forms on the CRA's Web site.

With respect to 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.

For information on scams, to report deceptive telemarketing, or if you have given personal or financial information unwittingly, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

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