Canada Revenue Agency’s Tips on How to Avoid Being Scammed

Many Canadians are tricked into paying fake debts by scammers posing as Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) employees. To avoid this CRA has released guidelines on when and how the CRA might contact you, how to protect yourself from scams, and how to identify whether it is a genuine call.

How to make sure the caller is a CRA employee before handing over money or personal information on the phone:

Ask for, or make a note of, the caller’s name, phone number, and office location, and tell them that you want to first verify their identity.

You can check that the call you received was in fact from the CRA by calling:

  • 1-888-863-8657 for individual debts
  • 1-877-477-5068 for GST/HST debts
  • 1-877-548-6016 for payroll debts
  • 1-866-291-6346 for corporation debts
  • 1-866-864-5823 if the call you received was about a government program such as employment insurance or Canada Student Loan debts.

CRA may call you if they previously wrote to you, or in any of these situations:

  • If you owe tax or money to a government program – a collections officer may call you to discuss your file and ask you to make a payment. In this case, you may need to provide some information about your financial situation.
  • If you did not file your income tax and benefit return – we may call you to ask for the missing return.
  • If you did not file your GST/HST return.
  • If we have questions about the tax and benefit documents you sent.
  • If you operate a small business, we may call to offer free tax help through our Liaison Officer program.
  • If we have questions about your new business registration.
  • If we have questions regarding a limited review of your Corporate Return.

You should remember that CRA will not pressuring you to act immediately.

To report a scam, call 1-888-495-8501 or do so online. If you think you may be the victim of fraud or you unknowingly provided personal or financial information, contact your local police service, financial institution, and credit reporting agencies.

 

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