Protect yourself against fraud
Know how to recognize a scam claiming to be from Service Canada or 1 800 O-Canada
There are many sophisticated frauds and scams in Canada - with new ones invented daily. Many frauds and scams attempt to mimic real federal government services to gain access to your personal and financial information.
You should be vigilant when a person claiming to be a Service Canada or 1 800 O-Canada employee:
- requests personal information (such as a Social Insurance Number, credit card number, bank account number or passport number); or
- attempts to complete a financial transaction (paying taxes owed or receiving a refund).
These emails, text messages, letters and calls (including recorded messages) are fraudulent. 1 800 O-Canada is a general information service and does not make unsolicited attempts to reach Canadians to request personal or financial information.
Service Canada and 1 800 O-Canada only send information you have requested.
When in doubt, contact 1 800 O-Canada (1-800-622-6232) and ask them to verify the validity of any communication you have received (including government websites).
How to protect yourself from identity theft
- Caller ID is a useful feature, but criminals can alter the information it displays. Never use only the displayed information to confirm the identity of the caller, whether it be an individual, a company or a government entity.
- Be suspicious if an individual ever asks you 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 . You should also obtain 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. 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 the post office to place a hold on delivery.
If you think you have been a victim of fraud
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, contact your local police service.
Report the theft of your Social Insurance Number (SIN) by contacting Service Canada at 1-800-206-7218. For more information, see the Social Insurance Number page.
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