CRA isn’t going to send you to jail over the phone

We recently talked to a client who received a phone call from someone claiming to be the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). If our client didn’t pay up immediately by providing their financial information – “CRA” claimed they were going to go to jail! This was a scam, and thankfully our client realized this. However, it’s not always so obvious and sometimes a phone call or e-mail from “CRA” can be intimidating.

As we finish personal tax season the frequency of e-mails and phone calls of people claiming to be the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) increases tenfold.  Be wary of scams!

As a general rule, CRA has stated that they will:

  • Never request payment by prepaid credit cards;
  • Never ask for information about your passport, health card or driver’s licence;
  • Never share your personal information with someone else (unless authorized) or leave personal information on your answering machine;
  • Never send an e-mail with a link that asks you to divulge personal or financial information; and
  • Never ask for personal information of any kind via e-mail or text message.

If you are questioning the validity of communications from CRA, you can always contact them at their toll-free number – 1-800-959-8281 for individuals; or 1-800-959-5525 for businesses. If you’re an existing client of ours – contact us immediately!

If you have received a phone call or e-mail that appears to be a scam, it can be reported to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online or by calling 1-888-495-8501.

CRA is not going to send you to jail over the phone or via e-mail. Anyone who claims to be CRA and tells you otherwise is attempting to steal from you. Don’t be fooled!