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How To Recognize Popular Scams Identified By the CRA

Every tax season, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) demands Canadians pay their fair share of taxes. But they’re not the only ones looking for your money. Scammers use tax season to prey on unsuspecting taxpayers, posing as CRA officials who try to access your personal information and, eventually, your bank account.

a senior looking at their phone and giving away credit number in a scam

Be Aware of These New Scams

Here are some popular scams identified by the CRA and what to do if you spot them:


Climate action incentive payment scams. You’ll get fraudulent texts that claim to be from the CRA that provide a fake link to the Climate Action Incentive Payment. Some messages feature images from official Government of Canada social media accounts to appear legitimate.


Emergency or disaster benefit scams. Scammers target disaster-affected individuals via text or email, urging them to click a link for assistance.


Grocery rebate scams. Impersonating CRA officials, scammers send emails or texts regarding the Grocery Rebate, prompting you to click a link.


Cryptocurrency phone scams. Callers threaten you with arrest warrants, posing as Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and instructing you to transfer money via cryptocurrency terminals.


Access to your CRA account. Impersonators claim errors in your CRA account, asking you to reply with a “HELP” text and potentially requesting personal information.


Fake tax refunds. Phishing attempts promise fake CRA refunds, requesting you to provide personal details and online banking information with urgent deadlines.


Extortion phone calls. Impersonators posing as CRA demand payment via Bitcoin or gift cards, threatening you and demanding personal information such as your social insurance number.


CRA Scams: What To Do

Here’s what to do if you get a suspicious text message, email, or phone call from someone claiming to be from the CRA:


  • Don’t click on any links or reply to text messages or emails. The CRA never uses text messages for tax-related discussions or requests personal bank information via email or text.

  • The CRA will never ask for personal or bank information through email, text or instant messages. Be cautious and don’t provide any personal or financial details in response to such requests.

  • Don’t provide personal or financial information over the phone. Hang up if the caller requests money, especially via cryptocurrency. Verify the caller’s identity by contacting the CRA directly.

  •  The CRA doesn’t accept payments through cryptocurrency, prepaid credit cards or gift cards.

  •  Be skeptical of any request for payment through e-transfers or gift cards.

  • If you notice unauthorized changes on your account, contact the CRA immediately.


Remember that the CRA never uses aggressive language or demands immediate payments over the phone.


Debt Help in Eastern Ontario

At D. & A. MacLeod Company Ltd., we want to ensure you’re on a firm financial footing. If a scam has left you in debt, our licensed insolvency trustees (LITs) can help you get your finances back on track with our personal bankruptcy services. Book a no-obligation consultation by contacting us today or schedule a virtual appointment from anywhere in Canada.


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