CRA scam alerts

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is regularly made aware of scams impersonating the CRA. Stay up-to-date with the CRA’s scam alert to help avoid scams that may target you.

If you suspect you may be a victim of a scam, visit the section What to do if you experience a CRA scam or fraud.

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Latest scam alerts

Text message scams containing personal information

What is it: Scammers are sending text messages claiming to be from the CRA that may contain personal information.

How to recognize it: The fraudulent text message claims to be from the CRA and contains a link, as well as personal information such as a name, date of birth, or social insurance number.

What to do: Do not reply to the text or click the link in the text message or provide them with your personal or financial information.

The CRA will not use text messages or instant messages to start a conversation with you about your taxes, benefits, or My Account.

Here are the steps to take if you are a victim of a scam or fraud and believe your CRA account information has been compromised: What to do if you're a victim of a scam

Cryptocurrency scam by phone

What is it: Scammers targeting individuals by phone, requesting money be transferred via cryptocurrency to cancel an RCMP warrant for their arrest.

How to recognize it: Scammers claim to work for the CRA and contact taxpayers threatening them with an RCMP warrant for their arrest. The scammer then calls back, pretending to be the RCMP, and instructs the taxpayer to transfer money from their bank account to cancel the arrest warrant, promising to return the money once their name has been cleared. The scammer provides phone numbers and passwords to deposit money into a local coin machine or cryptocurrency terminal.

What to do: Do not provide the individual with personal information or financial information. In addition:

GST/HST tax refund/credit scam

What is it: Scammers are targeting individuals by text message or email, claiming that the CRA is sending them a GST/HST tax refund or credit, and are requesting personal information to proceed.

How to recognize it: The fraudulent text message or email claims to be from the CRA. Scammers ask individuals to reply or click on a link to complete an application form by an urgent deadline to receive their refund or credit.

What to do:

The CRA will not ask you by text message or email for:

The CRA will not use text messages or instant messages to start a conversation with you about your taxes, benefits, or My Account.

If you’re eligible, the additional one-time GST Credit payment will automatically be mailed or direct deposited.

Text message scam to access your CRA accounts

What is it: A text message scam impersonating the CRA to gain access to your CRA accounts.

How to recognize it: The scammers will send a message to your phone or tablet claiming to be from the CRA. They will state that there is an error with your account and it will need to be updated. They will asked you to text back “HELP”, after which they may ask for personal information.

What to do: Do not reply to the text or click the link in the text message or provide them with your personal or financial information.

The CRA will not use text messages or instant messages to start a conversation with you about your taxes, benefits, or My Account.

Text or instant message offering a refund

What is it: A text message scam impersonating the CRA to offer fake refunds to Canadians. This is known as phishing.

How to recognize it: Scammers will send a message from a fake number to your phone or tablet. They will claim to be the CRA and offer a refund, encouraging you to click on a link provided in their message.

They may ask you to provide:

What to do: Do not reply to the text message or send them any personal information.

The CRA will not use text messages or instant messages to start a conversation with you about your refund.

Fraudulent tax returns - identity theft

What is it: Scammers acquire personal information (such as user ID and passwords), and file fake tax returns in your name. This is referred to as identity theft and targets all Canadians.

How to recognize it: You may notice:

What to do: If you notice a change on your account has been made, and you did not make it, contact the CRA as soon as possible.

Extortion phone call demanding payment

What is it: Extortion phone calls from scammers demanding payment and claiming to be from the CRA.

How to recognize it: Scammers will call you from a fake number. They may use a local number or use numbers from local law enforcement agencies or governments.

They may ask you to confirm your social insurance number and then demand you pay them by Bitcoin or by gift cards.

What to do: The CRA will not use aggressive language or demand immediate payment over the phone.

The CRA does not accept:

Email message offering a refund

What is it: An email message scam impersonating the CRA to offer fake refunds to Canadians. This is known as phishing.

How to recognize it: Scammers will send you an email message from a fake CRA email address, offering a refund. The email will state that the CRA owes you a refund, and ask you to click on the link provided. If you click on the link, you will be asked to provide:

What to do: Do not reply to the email message or send them any personal information.

The CRA will not ask you by email for:

Examples of fraudulent communications

In an effort to prevent you from falling prey to these cons, the CRA has some examples of scams targeting taxpayers:

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

For details: Scam prevention and the CRA

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