RCMP are asking the general public be cautious if they receive an email from the Canada Revenue Agency promising a hefty tax refund.
This latest twist in the CRA scam is nothing new and follows the most recent wave of phone calls threatening legal action if payment is not received.
Police have received multiple reports that similar tactics are being used through email, informing taxpayers that they are eligible to receive a tax refund in return for personal banking details and a copy of your passport or photo ID.
“These emails look legitimate and can often lead people to believe they have a refund coming to them,” said Cst. Jamie Phillipson, Coquitlam RCMP Media Relations Officer. “Scams designed to steal your money are ever-changing but are often preventable. We’re asking everyone to be mindful if they receive any kind of request for personal information and to notify their local police if they have shared their personal information or have been a victim of fraud.”
Phillipson says RCMP recommend the following guidelines to protect your personal information:
• Do not respond to unsolicited email or phone requests for private information. Reputable businesses don’t engage in these practices.
• The Canada Revenue Agency will never request personal information by email or request documents pertaining to health services cards, driver’s license or passport.
• Keep your private information private. The internet provides lots of opportunities for you to hand over private information. But criminals can’t “harvest” information unless you put it out there.
• Monitor your accounts and credit reports regularly. Frauds and scams can go undetected for a long time unless you monitor your credit report as well as activity on your bank and credit card accounts.
• If you do click on link and unwittingly provide personal information, follow these steps:
– contact your financial institution/credit card company immediately;
– contact your credit bureau and have fraud alerts placed on your credit card reports;
– contact your local police via the non-emergency number;
– report phishing to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please visit the Canada Revenue Agency website to learn more about CRA scams and phishing schemes.