Have you been contacted by someone claiming to be from Canada Revenue Agency? It may be a scam!

Be extra cautious if you received a mail, email or phone call from someone claiming to be from the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA). They may say you’re owed a refund or alert you to an issue with your taxes (such as missing information or claims that you’re committing tax fraud). To collect your money or fix the problem, the scammer asks you to supply identification information, such as social insurance, credit card, bank account or passport numbers. In some cases, the fraudster will tell you that unless you pay a certain amount of money, you’ll be sent to jail.

If you’re not sure if you actually owe money to the CRA, please contact the CRA directly.

The CRA will not do the following:

  • The CRA will never request payments by prepaid credit cards.
  • The CRA will never request, by email, personal information of any kind from a taxpayer.
  • The CRA will never request information from a taxpayer pertaining to a passport, health card, or driver’s licence.
  • The CRA will not divulge taxpayer information to another person unless formal authorization is provided by the taxpayer.
  • The CRA will not leave any personal information on an answering machine.

What does the scam actually look like?

Here are some actual examples from the CRA website:

What do to if you’ve been a victim?

If you’ve been contacted by these fraudsters, you can report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. If you suspect you may be the victim of fraud or have been tricked into giving personal or financial information, contact your local police.

We get lots of questions and comments about this scam. Get the most date information directly on the Canada Revenue Agency website.


Free trial traps: how to identify them and what to do if you’re stuck
A fraud warning from Passport Canada
Cell phone scams: what do you need to look for?
Getting debt collection calls? Here’s what to do.

About Consumer Protection BC

We are responsible for regulating specific industries and certain consumer transactions in British Columbia. If your concern is captured under the laws we enforce, we will use the tools at our disposal to assist you. If we can’t help you directly, we will be happy to provide you with as much information as possible. Depending on your concern, another organization may be the ones to speak to; other times, court or legal assistance may be the best option. Explore our website at www.consumerprotectionbc.ca.