Protect yourself against fraud

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

Know how to recognize a scam claiming to be from Service Canada or 1 800 O-Canada

Fake text messages and calls claiming to be from Service Canada or 1 800 O-Canada are providing links to a website to pay money owed to the Canada Revenue Agency. These text messages and calls are fraudulent and do not originate from Service Canada.

There are many fraud types, including new ones invented daily. 1 800 O-Canada is a general information service and does not make unsolicited attempts to reach Canadians to provide instructions about their situation.

You should be vigilant when you receive, either by telephone, mail, text message or email, a communication that claims to be from Service Canada or 1 800 O-Canada requesting personal information (such as a Social Insurance Number, credit card number, bank account number or passport number) or attempting to complete a financial transaction (paying taxes owed or receiving a refund).

Service Canada and 1 800 O-Canada do not send unsolicited communication and do not require your personal or financial information.

The 1 800 O-Canada service is inbound only, which means the service is there for you to access when you need to learn more about Government of Canada programs and services.

Service Canada and 1 800 O-Canada only send you information you have requested (for example, publications, an email of the information you have already obtained on the phone, etc.) or follows up on requests you have made to the service.

When in doubt, contact 1 800 O-Canada (1-800-622-6232).

How to protect yourself from identity theft

  • Caller ID is a useful function. However, the information displayed can be altered by criminals. Never use only the displayed information to confirm the identity of the caller, whether it be an individual, a company or a government entity.
  • Never provide personal information through the Internet, by email, by phone or via text.
  • Be suspicious if you are ever asked to pay taxes or other fees via an email, a call or text message.
  • Keep your access codes, user ID, passwords and PINs secret.
  • Keep your address current with all government departments and agencies.
  • Before supporting any charity, use the CRA website to find out if the charity is registered and get more information on the way it does business.
  • Be careful before you click on links in any email you receive. Some criminals may be using a technique known as phishing to steal your personal information when you click on the link.
  • Protect your Social Insurance Number. Do not use it as a piece of ID and never reveal it to anyone unless you are certain the person asking for it is legally entitled to that information.
  • Pay attention to your billing cycle and ask about any missing account statements or suspicious transactions.
  • Shred unwanted documents or store them in a secure place. Make sure that documents with your name and SIN are secure.
  • Immediately report lost or stolen credit or debit cards.
  • Carry only the ID you need.
  • Do not write down any passwords or carry them with you.
  • Ask a trusted neighbour to pick up your mail when you are away or ask that a hold be placed on delivery.

Have you been a victim

You should report deceptive telemarketing to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online or by calling 1‑888-495-8501.

If you suspect you may be the victim of fraud or have been tricked into giving personal or financial information, contact your local police service.

If your Social Insurance Number (SIN) has been stolen, you should contact Service Canada at 1-800-206-7218. For more information, see the Social Insurance Number page.

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