Tips On How To Avoid CRA Scams
In the era of mobile phones and vibrant internet, frauds are bound to be committed often. CRA scams are quite a number and they keep evolving with time. Taxpayers should always be alert when they receive communication purporting to be from the Canadian Revenue Agency. They should be more skeptical when in such communication, they are requested for personal information like credit card number, passport, or even passport number.
The scammers always circumvent by informing the taxpayers that their information is needed in order for them to receive a benefit or a refund. In some instances, they force the taxpayers to pay a non-existent debt to the CRA. At times, they ask the taxpayer to visit the CRA website or send them links to websites where the taxpayer will be required to verify their identity by keying in personal information. Well, these are CRA scams and the taxpayers should not respond in any way to them.
Genuine Communication from the CRA
The CRA may communicate with a taxpayer from time to time over pertinent matters but in the communication, the CRA will not:
- Ask for personal information;
- Divulge taxpayer’s information unless there is a legal obligation to do so or a formal authority from the taxpayer;
- Request for payments;
- Send emails with links where the taxpayer will be required to give personal information. If the taxpayer, however, calls the CRA requesting for a link or a specific form, the CRA, will during the conversation, forward the requested link or form to the taxpayer’s email registered in the CRA’s portable. It should be noted that this is the only circumstance CRA will send links to the taxpayer.
It is incumbent upon the taxpayers to profile themselves in respect to CRA. The taxpayer should, for example, be knowing the kind information their accounts in the CRA portal have, what information they will generally be required to provide to file a tax return and even being able to personally identify those who handle their tax matters when they call.
How to protect oneself from CRA scams
- Be cognizant of the information the CRA can require from you and how they do it;
- Always be skeptical and ask relevant questions. Ask such questions like, ‘from the information you have, how much was my VAT for last month’? A scammer will not be having such kind of information;
- Before choosing a tax accountant, the taxpayer should do background checks well. Ensure that the accountant is trustworthy and of high integrity. Get a referral from friends if need be;
- The taxpayer should not click on any link on their emails unless the sender is someone or an organization they know. This is where a lot of scams happen;
- Report a lost or stolen credit card to the bank as soon as possible;
- The taxpayer should always make sure that access codes, passwords, and PINs are kept secretly.
Countering CRA scams
Should a taxpayer fall victim of a CRA scam, they should report the incident to the Canadian Anti-fraud Centre. The taxpayer should also contact the police within His reach. They can also reach His bank for stolen cards or ask the CRA to disable His online access.
Be safe from CRA scammers; be informed, be alert, be inquisitive. Learn more by visiting the government website here: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/corporate/security/protect-yourself-against-fraud.html