Transcript - Beware of scammers posing as CRA employees

NARRATOR: This, is Mike. Like most Canadians, Mike is a responsible citizen—he works hard, takes care of his family, he volunteers… and he pays his taxes on time.

So Mike is surprised when he gets a telephone call just as he's about to sit down to dinner… the person on the phone says he's from the Canada Revenue Agency and that Mike hasn't paid his taxes. He tells Mike the police are coming to arrest him if he doesn't pay immediately… and demands Mike's banking and credit card information.

Mike thinks… “Am I in trouble?!”

The answer is no! This call… is a scam. The caller is a criminal trying to scare Mike so that he can steal Mike's money or identity. Unfortunately, some people are fooled by these threats—they are frightened into giving scammers their personal and financial information.

But not Mike: Mike listens, and then thinks to himself, “Hmmm… I pay my taxes regularly… the CRA has never asked for pre-paid credit cards or for my credit card number over the phone… Actually, I don't think the CRA would ever threaten me with police arrest.”

“This doesn't feel right, and it doesn't make sense. I better check My online CRA Account or call the official CRA number to make sure my tax account is in order.” 

Mike hangs up, and checks his online CRA account, which confirms he was right and that there is no problem with his tax account.

Remember, the CRA will never use nasty language or threaten you, although it does have to tell you about what may happen if you really haven't met your tax obligations;

The CRA will also never ask for your credit card information or for payments by prepaid credit cards; or ask for your personal information by email or text message

If you get a call, e-mail or text message that sounds like a scam, it probably is. Hang up or delete!

For more information, visit the CRA at cra.gc.ca/fraudprevention.

To report a scam, contact your local police or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at antifraudcentre.ca

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