How to verify the CRA has contacted you

December 21, 2021

Ottawa, Ontario

Canada Revenue Agency

With the holidays just around the corner, scammers could contact you pretending to be from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Scammers are trying to trick individuals into making payments, and we’re doing everything we can to put a stop to this. That includes letting you know when and how we might contact you.

How to make sure the caller is a CRA employee and not a scammer

A legitimate CRA employee will identify themselves when they contact you. The employee will give you their name and a phone number. Make sure the caller is a CRA employee before you give any information over the phone. This will protect you from giving money or personal information to a scammer.

If you’re suspicious, this is how you can make sure the caller is from the CRA:

  1. Tell the caller you would like to first verify their identity.
  2. Request and make a note of their:
    • name
    • phone number
    • office location
  3. End the call. Then check that the information provided during the call was legitimate by contacting the CRA. Please do this before you give any information to the caller.

Once you complete those three steps, you may call back the CRA employee to discuss the reason for their call.

Note that our individual tax, benefits and business enquiries lines offer an automated call back service. When wait times reach a certain threshold, you will be given the option of a callback, rather than waiting on hold. If you opt for a callback, we will give you a randomized four-digit confirmation number. This number will be repeated back to you by the call centre agent at the time of the callback. This is to provide you with assurance that the call is from a legitimate CRA employee.

When to be suspicious

Red flags that suggest a caller is a scammer include (but are not limited to):

For more tips and helpful information, visit our Be Scam Smart or Scam prevention and the CRA pages.

We may review your return

One reason we may contact you is if we are reviewing your income tax and benefit return. This could include reviewing your GST/HST, T4 or T5 information. You may receive a letter or a phone call telling you that the CRA is reviewing your return. If you're registered for email notifications, we will send you an email telling you that your letter is available in My Account. In most cases, our review is a routine check. It’s important that you reply and send all of the information requested as soon as possible. This will help us review your file quickly and easily.

It’s also important that you call the number in your letter in either of the following situations:

By calling, we can give you more time to respond if you need it. We can also help you if you have any questions. If you don’t reply, we may disallow a claim of yours and you could have a balance owing.

If you own a small business or are self-employed, we may call you or send you a letter to offer free tax help through our Liaison Officer service. This will be the first contact. We will only use email if you provide your email address and consent to the CRA.

Want to report a potential scam?

You should report a scam if you suspect either of the following:

To report a scam, visit, follow the instructions on our Be Scam Smart page, or call 1-888-495-8501. If you think you may be the victim of fraud or you unknowingly provided personal or financial information, contact all of the following:

You should contact the CRA if you:


Media Relations
Canada Revenue Agency

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