CRA Calls Can be Scary. Fake CRA Calls Can be Even Scarier.
DECEMBER 11, 2017
By Joseph Handcock, CPA, CA
Many people fear getting a call from Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), worried that it means they are in trouble with the tax man. When that supposed call comes threatening to have the RCMP come to the door and throw you in jail, a real fear can set in.
There is a growing number of scammers that apply these tactics. They want to throw you off by the threats, so you provide them with what they want – personal information or immediate payment (through gift cards for example).
If you ever receive a call you find suspicious, do not provide any personal information. Hang up, then get the facts directly from CRA by either calling directly at 1-800-959-8281, or checking your “My Account” or “My Business Account” online.
Be aware that the real CRA:
- will never ask for personal information through clicking on a link, through an email or text message
- will never request payment by gift card or prepaid credit card and CRA does not send emails containing Interac e-transfer payments or refund details
CRA is very aware of these and other scams, and have outlined how to recognize these frauds:
You may wish to also advise the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre which is the government department that looks to shut these schemes down: