Not sure if it's the CRA calling? Here's how to find out!

March 9, 2023

Ottawa, Ontario

Canada Revenue Agency

Scammers posing as the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) continue their attempts to trick you into handing over money or personal information. Know what to expect when the CRA contacts you so you can tell the difference between legitimate communications from the CRA, and scams.

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

A legitimate CRA employee will identify themself when they contact you, providing you with their name and phone number to call them back, if needed.

If you’re suspicious, you can make sure the caller is a CRA employee before providing any information over the phone.

Here’s how:

  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.

In the provinces:

In the territories:



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

Note that our individual tax, benefits, and business enquiries lines offer an automated callback service. When wait times reach a certain threshold, you have the option for 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 comes from a legitimate CRA employee.

When to be suspicious

Red flags that suggest a caller is a scammer include, but are not limited to, the following:

Scammers are also trying to trick people into clicking links by sending fraudulent emails and text messages. Examples of CRA-related scams are on the Scam prevention at the CRA page, and you can also visit our Scams and fraud page for more tips and helpful information.

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 your correspondence preference is set to electronic mail, we will send you an email telling you that your letter is available in My Account.

In most cases when we are reviewing a return, it is a routine check. Replying and sending all of the information requested as soon as possible will help us review your file quickly and easily.

It’s also important that you call the number printed in your letter for 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. We will only use email to contact you if you provide your email address and consent to the CRA.

Reporting a potential scam

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

To report a scam, visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre page, follow the instructions on our Scams and fraud 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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