Wondering what you possibly could have done to elicit a threatening phone call from Government officials?
If you are a Canadian resident with a Canadian phone number, chances are you may have received threatening phone calls from alleged employees of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). But what does this mean? Are you really going to jail for tax crimes you weren’t aware you had committed? Most likely not, but keep reading to be sure.
What you will learn from this article:
- What the CRA will never do
- How to respond to fraudulent calls/emails
- How to check your actual status with the CRA
What the CRA will never do
The Canada Revenue Agency will never do any of the following:
- Send you an email with a link requesting personal or financial information.
- Ask for any personal information via email or text message.
- Request payment via credit card or gift card.
- Provide you with information on other taxpayers.
- Mention personal information in a voicemail message.
Any caller who does one or more of those is a scammer.
How to respond to fraudulent calls/emails
The Canada Revenue Agency is aware of these calls and has a page on how to protect yourself from them. In summary, you should never provide any of your personal or financial information via email or through the Internet.
If you do receive a call and are unable to determine its legitimacy, the CRA advises that you ask for the employee’s name, employee number, and who their manager is. You should also ask who the legal representative on file is. Any representative of the Canada Revenue Agency is able to do so and will provide you this with information when asked. If the caller does, make note and call an actual CRA phone number and ask for this employee or their manager. You wouldn’t want to fall for a fake name and number!
Once you have established that you have been contacted by an imposter of the CRA, you can report the fraudulent activity at the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
If you still aren’t convinced, contact your accountant! They will have dealt with similar situations and will be able to determine the validity of the call, and the necessary steps to follow. If you think you may have already been coerced into providing personal information, be sure to contact the police and notify them of the fraudulent activity. You can never be too careful!
How to check your actual status with the CRA
While you should never believe or provide any information to these scammers, if you are still unsure you can always check your status with the Canada Revenue Agency. This can be done by calling the CRA at 1-800-959-8281, or by checking your account online with them. If you don’t already have an account, you can register easily from the same link.
You can also contact us with any related questions, or if you would require any clarification. We know a scammer when we see one!