BVA Blog

CRA Telephone and Email Scams

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Telephone and Email Scams:

Over the last few months, we have had clients who have received phone calls and/or emails “supposedly” from the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA). The “supposed” CRA agent is requesting additional information, such as social insurance numbers, credit card or bank account numbers, and/or passport numbers to verify the tax payer’s identity, and in some cases may even suggest that this information is required to receive a refund or benefit payment. There are also instances of correspondence in which the “agent” is requesting immediate payment of taxes owing, and threatens court charges, and even jail time if the tax payer does not comply. In one situation, the “agent” even suggested that the client get a lawyer and sue their accountant for preparing their income tax return incorrectly.

Here are a few things to keep in mind if you happen to receive one of these phone calls or emails and are unsure as to whether or not it is fraudulent:

  • The CRA does not request prepaid credit cards
  • The CRA does not ask for information about passports, health cards or driver’s licenses
  • The CRA does not share your tax information with another person, unless proper authorization has been provided
  • The CRA does not leave personal information on an answering machine, or asks you to leave a message containing personal information on an answering machine.
  • The CRA does not send emails with links asking you to provide personal or financial information.
  • The CRA does not ask for personal information via email or text message.


If you receive a phone call or email, ask yourself the following types of questions:

  • Do I have a balance outstanding on my personal taxes?
  • Am I expecting more money from the CRA?
  • Is the caller requesting information that I would not normally include with my income tax information?
  • Is the caller requesting information that CRA should already have on file for me?
  • How did the caller get my phone number or email address?
  • Am I confident that I know who is asking for the information?
  • Did I sign up to have online mail delivered through My Account, My Business Account or Represent a Client?
  • Did I provide my email address on my income tax return to receive mail online?
  • Does this sound too good to be true?


If a phone call is received, you can always google the phone number and see if there are any threads indicating that it is a fraudulent phone call. To do this, simply type the phone number in to the google search bar and see if anything comes up.

If you do happen to come across one of these situations, the best thing to do is to report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center, online, or toll free at 1-888-495-8501. As well, you can always contact our office, and we will be happy to provide you with professional tax advice on the matter. If we have authorization on your account, we can check to determine whether you owe any income taxes or have an income tax refund coming.

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