As tax time approaches, RCMP across Nova Scotia have been responding to a number of complaints of fraudsters attempting to scam people out of their money by claiming to be representatives of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
The RCMP are asking citizens to be cautious when receiving emails or telephone calls from the CRA . This could be a scam resulting in identity or financial theft. Recent scams involve telephone calls using threatening or coercive language to scare individuals into pre-paying fictitious debt to the CRA and emails that refer citizens to a website resembling the CRA, where the person is asked to verify their identity by entering personal information.
The CRA would never ask for information about your passport, health card, or driver’s license and they would never leave personal information on your answering machine or ask you to leave such information on an answering machine. 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 listed on their website at www.cra.gc.ca
When in doubt, ask yourself the following:
Am I expecting additional money from the CRA?
Does this sound too good to be true?
Is the requester asking for information I would not include with my tax return?
Is the requester asking for information I know the CRA already has on file for me?
How did the requester get my email address or telephone number?
Am I confident I know who is asking for the information?
Is there a reason that the CRA may be calling? Do I have a tax balance outstanding?
For more information about security of taxpayer information and other examples of fraudulent communications, go to www.cra.gc.ca/security.
The RCMP remind citizens that if you receive a suspicious email or telephone call, hang up and please report it immediately to the Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.