Tax season is upon us and cybercriminals are using this opportunity to set traps for taxpayers. A common scam is phishing emails that purport to be official communications from tax filing companies or legitimate messages from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). They often contain deceptive language that entices the recipient(s) to follow specific instructions.
Common types of scams
The CRA has identified some known types of tax-related scams, including but not limited to:
- Messages that encourage you to click on a link to claim a refund.
- Messages that notify you of an unpaid balance and threaten you with jail time if you don’t pay.
- Messages that instruct you to follow a link to review changes in your account or to fill out a form with your login credentials and personal information.
- Messages that tell you about a new tax benefit from the COVID-19 situation.
Link to the CRA: What to expect when the Canada Revenue Agency contacts you
The CRA also provides examples of fraudulent emails here.
Tax filers should be vigilant about tax-related communications either by phone, mail, text message or email. Never give out personal information, including financial information or login credentials to unidentified personnel.
When in doubt, always login to your CRA account through a trusted browser or call CRA’s Individual Income Tax Enquiries line at 1-800-959-8281.