CRA Scams

CRA Scams Continuously Evolving – How to Avoid Being a Victim

You probably have been a target or know somebody who has been a target of somebody impersonating CRA. These scammers are continually creating new ways to steal your money, credit card info, or even your identity. As long as the scammers continue to benefit from the scam, they will continue to use it. We will try to help you identify a scammer and how to deal with the situation in order to minimize any risks. CRA also has a number of resources on their Fraud Protection page

Identifying a Scammer:

There are a few items which you should know about CRA’s communications which will help you identify scammers from the start:

  • CRA will NEVER threaten you with police action
  • A prevalent method that scammers use today is to barrage the target with threats and if immediate action isn’t taken, threaten to get the police involved. This tactic throws a lot of people off guard and intimidates them to pay. CRA will NEVER ask for personal information through email or text
  • CRA will NEVER ask for your credit card number
  • CRA issues refunds in only two ways: cheque or direct deposit (if set up)
  • CRA accepts the following forms of payment:
    • Pre-authorized debit
    • Online Banking
    • Debit Card
    • Cheque payable to the "Receiver General for Canada"
    • Online at using the 'My Payment' function
  • CRA will NEVER give taxpayer information to another person unless formal authorization is provided by the taxpayer

Here is the tricky part. Although CRA, for the most part, will not ask for your personal information, they are also not permitted to speak to you about your file unless they verify your identity (by asking you for personal information). We have found the best way to get around this is if you receive a call from somebody claiming to be from CRA, ask to call them back after you verify they are in fact with CRA.

Contacting the CRA:

If you receive any call from somebody claiming to be with the CRA, you can always ask them for their name, identification number, what department they are calling from, and their phone number. Not all CRA employees have identification numbers or will give out their phone number, but chances are if they are contacting you, they should give out all of this information. Once you get this information, you can then contact the CRA by a different, secure method to verify the CRA is actually trying to contact you. The best two ways to get information from the CRA are:

  • Call their general enquires number. They WILL ask you personal information to verify your identity:
  • Log into CRA’s My Account(set up is required)

Identity theft and scams to steal from you are ongoing threats. Don’t become a victim. Please make sure to stay informed on the latest scams. Perform the following security measures:

  • Protect yourself online
  • Protect your ID’s, passwords, PINs, SIN, etc.
    • Change your passwords/PINs once a year
  • Keep your address up to date with government organizations
  • Get a credit report annually (Transunion or Equifax in Canada)