CRA SCAM ALERTS: GST/HST Tax Refund/credit
Scammers often exploit the tax refund system to deceive individuals and obtain their personal information or financial resources. One prevalent scam involves sending fraudulent text messages or emails claiming to be from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and informing recipients that they are eligible for a GST/HST tax refund or credit.
To make their messages appear legitimate, scammers may use official logos, graphics or even mimic the language commonly used by the CRA. They create a sense of urgency and excitement, enticing recipients to provide their personal information in order to proceed with the refund or credit.
However, it is crucial to note that the CRA does not initiate communication regarding tax refunds or credits through unsolicited emails or text messages. Legitimate communication from the CRA typically occurs through traditional mail or via secure channels such as the individual's online CRA account.
To protect yourself from falling victim to this scam, consider the following measures:
Verify the authenticity: Contact the CRA directly through their official website or customer service helpline to confirm the legitimacy of any communication claiming to be from them. Use the contact information available on the CRA's official website and not the details provided in the suspicious message.
Exercise caution with personal information: Be cautious about sharing sensitive information such as your Social Insurance Number, banking details, or credit card information unless you are certain of the legitimacy of the request.
Watch for red flags: Pay attention to warning signs like poor grammar, spelling mistakes, unusual email addresses, generic greetings, or requests for immediate action. Legitimate organizations typically use proper grammar, personalized greetings and do not rush individuals into providing information.
Be wary of unsolicited communication: Unsolicited emails or text messages claiming to offer tax refunds or credits should be treated with suspicion. Do not click on any links or download attachments in such messages as they may lead to malicious websites or malware.
Report suspicious activity: If you receive a suspicious email or text claiming to be from the CRA, report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) and the CRA itself. Reporting can help authorities take appropriate action and raise awareness about the scam.
By remaining vigilant, verifying the legitimacy of any requests, and being cautious with your personal information, you can reduce the risk of falling victim to scams and protect yourself from financial loss or identity theft.