Tax season always sees an increase in fraudsters presenting themselves as the Canada Revenue Agency. They typically inform you of taxes owed and threaten imminent arrest if you don’t pay immediately. their antics don’t end with your yearly filing, as one Delta resident can attest.
On May 10th, “Mary” received the above email from fraudsters. While “Mary” may well be receiving a tax return this year, this email was not sent by the CRA. Note the fake CRA email address ending with “highland.edu”, the website for a community college in Illinois. Sound fishy to you too? What about the “Secure form” link starting with “cra-arg.gc.ca”? While close, that’s not the CRA’s website either.
These clues are typical of these types of emails, and should put you on guard to their true nature.
Remember the following tips when receiving such contact from fraudsters, whether it be by email, text message or phone call:
• The CRA will never send an email asking you to divulge your personal or financial information.
• By simply clicking on any links in the email, you could pick up a nasty computer virus, causing you no end of grief.
• If you do provide personal information in response to these emails, it will surely be used to steal your identity.
If you have any doubt at all about your tax account, simply call the CRA directly at their individual tax enquiries line, 1-800-959-8281, and ask them yourself. As for that email, delete it, and make sure to share your story with friends and family. The more we talk about this, the less vulnerable we all become.
Const. Dustin Classen is assigned to the economic and technical crime unit of the DPD.