Frequently Asked Questions

  • How can I tell if a call from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is real?

    The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) may call you if they need to discuss your tax or benefit situation—for example, if you owe taxes, did not file a tax return, or . However, there are many scams out there involving a caller who pretends to be from the CRA in order to get personal or financial information from you.

    Before giving any personal or financial information to a caller, you should first verify that they are actually calling from the CRA. To do this, you should:

    • Ask for their name, phone number, and office location
    • Check that the call you received was legitimate by contacting the CRA yourself and verifying the information the caller gave you.

    There are also some “red flags” to look out for that could indicate the caller is a scammer. These include:

    • The caller is asking you to pay with gift cards or cryptocurrency (like Bitcoin)
    • The caller is asking you for information that would not be included on a tax return (such as a credit card number)
    • The caller is contacting you by email, or asking you to respond by email. CRA will never ask you to provide personal information by email.
    • The caller is telling you you must pay taxes on lottery or sweepstakes winnings.

    For more information and other things to look out for, visit the Canada Revenue Agency website here.

  • Are there COVID-19 scams I should be aware of?

    The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre lists the following recent COVID-19 scams on their website:

    •  Cleaning or heating companies offering duct cleaning services or filters to protect from COVID-19 offering “special” air filters.
    • Local and provincial hydro/electrical power companies threatening to disconnect power for non-payment.
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the World Health Organization (WHO) offering fake lists for sale of COVID-19 infected people in your neighbourhood
    • Public Health Agency of Canada giving false results saying you have been tested positive for COVID-19 tricking you into confirming your health card and credit card numbers for a prescription
    • Red Cross and other known charities offering free medical products (e.g. masks) for a donation.
    • Government departments sending out coronavirus-themed phishing emails tricking you into opening malicious attachments tricking you to reveal sensitive personal and financial details.
    • Financial advisers pressuring people to invest in hot new stocks related to the disease offering financial aid and/or loans to help you get through the shut downs.
    • Door-to-door sales people selling household decontamination services.
    • Private companies offering fake COVID-19 tests for sale.

    If anyone contacts you with a COVID-19 scam, don’t provide any financial information, hang up and report the call to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at (toll-free) 1-888-495-8501 or online.