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CRA / IRS Fraud Alert – Part 2

Further to our blog of April 16, 2016, we wanted to keep you informed of the latest in a string of scams that use the identity of the CRA. Our clients and friends continue to report receiving threatening phone calls from individuals claiming to be an agent from the CRA. Some have been told there is a warrant for their arrest due to unpaid taxes. The so-called “agent” then uses very effective tactics to bully the individual into immediate payment over the phone by demanding the taxpayer purchase Gift cards and then provide the PIN of the card to the agent, or insisting on a wire transfer through Western Union, credit card payment or other “unusual” methods of payment.

If you receive threatening calls or voicemails from someone claiming to be a CRA agent, beware! Consider this level of threat to be a red flag. CRA would never ask for bank or credit card information over the phone and certainly would never request payment in the form of gift cards, wire transfers, credit card payments and the like. Never provide your SIN or any other financial or personal information if you have not initiated the call to a confirmed CRA phone number (see below).

The same thing applies for alleged refunds that you are entitled to, where they require you to click on links on a website you are directed to, or request your banking information to facilitate a refund. Don’t fall for it – it’s very dangerous to co-operate.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the CRA, make note of their contact information and the tax matter they are referring to. Then hang up (no need to be polite) and call the CRA:

  • 1-800-959-8281 (for personal matters)
  • 1-800-959-5525 (for corporate matters)

A CRA agent can access your file to confirm if the call was actually legitimate. If the call was legitimate, there will be notes on your file as to who was calling you and why. DO NOT CALL ANY OTHER PHONE NUMBERS – EVER.

Fraudulent letters and emails are also still circulating. If you are not absolutely positive the letter or e-mail purporting to be from the CRA is legitimate, please forward the letters or emails directly to us for review, or phone CRA directly at the numbers noted above, not the numbers on any correspondence or e-mail.

Please do not respond to any of these fraudulent communications. If you have any questions or concerns about your tax situation, contact us immediately for advice.

For further information and examples of the fraudulent phone calls, emails and letters please see the links below.

CRA: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/scrty/frdprvntn/menu-eng.html

IRS: https://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Identity-Protection

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