March is Fraud Prevention Month
March 8, 2017
It’s almost spring and we all know what that means – tax season. It also means an increase in telephone scams.
As is usual every tax season, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is noting an increase in reports of telephone scams where fraudulent callers claim to be from the CRA. I am asking constituents to beware — these phoney calls could result in identity and financial theft.
Some recent telephone scams involve threatening taxpayers or using aggressive and forceful language to scare them into paying fictitious debt to the CRA. Victims receive a phone call from a person claiming to work for the CRA and saying that taxes are owed. The caller requests immediate payment by credit card or convinces the victims to purchase a prepaid credit card and to call back immediately with the information. The taxpayer is often threatened with court charges, jail or deportation.
If you get such a call, hang up and report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
These types of communication are not from the CRA. When the CRA calls you, it has established procedures in place to make sure your personal information is protected. If you want to confirm the authenticity of a CRA telephone number, call the CRA by using the numbers on its Telephone numbers webpage. The number for business-related calls is 1-800-959-5525. The number for calls about individual concerns is 1-800-959-8281.
To help you identify possible scams, use the following guidelines:
- never requests prepaid credit cards;
- never asks for information about your passport, health card, or driver’s licence;
- never shares your taxpayer information with another person, unless you have provided the appropriate authorization; and
- never leaves personal information on your answering machine or asks you to leave a message containing your personal information on an answering machine.
For information on scams or to report deceptive telemarketing contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online at www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca or toll free at 1-888-495-8501.
If you believe you may be the victim of fraud or have given personal or financial information unwittingly, contact your local police service. Stay connected to make sure you have the information you need to arm yourself in the fight against fraud.