Tax fraud season tips from IT Services

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By: 
ddevenney
Tips from IT Services: Tax fraud season

It`s Tax Fraud Season!

As we roll into everyone’s favourite time of the year – tax time – it`s important to remember that we’re also in tax fraud season.

If it hasn’t happened to you, I’m pretty sure you know someone who has had a phone call or email from the Canada Revenue Agency that threatens them with dire consequences if they don’t settle an outstanding tax debt immediately. Or perhaps you’ve received an email asking you to log into the CRA portal and “confirm’ your details. These are a couple of examples of the numerous scams that are put forth by cyber criminals at this time of the year.

The Canada Revenue Agency has some excellent resources that will help you separate genuine transactions with them from those perpetuated by the fraudsters. Here’s an excerpt from their information page:

The CRA will not do the following:

  • send email with a link and ask you to divulge personal or financial information;
  • If you call the CRA to request a form or a link for specific information, a CRA agent will forward the information you are requesting to your email during the telephone call. This is the only circumstance in which the CRA will send an email containing links.
  • ask for personal information of any kind by email or text message.
  • request payments by prepaid credit cards.
  • give taxpayer information to another person, unless formal authorization is provided by the taxpayer.
  • leave personal information on an answering machine.

Exception:

When in doubt, ask yourself the following:

  • Did I sign up to receive online mail through My Account, My Business Account, or Represent a Client?
  • Did I provide my email address on my income tax and benefit return to receive mail online?
  • Am I expecting more money from the CRA?
  • Does this sound too good to be true?
  • Is the requester asking for information I would not provide in my tax return?
  • Is the requester asking for information I know the CRA already has on file for me?

Canada Revenue Agency has some great information, on their website, on how to protect yourself from cyber criminals trying to take advantage of you at tax time.