Over the past few years, scam phone calls from individuals claiming to be from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) have increased. As we approach the time of year to file personal tax returns, these calls become more frequent as scammers seek to take advantage of the tax season.
How to make sure the caller is a CRA employee and not a scammer
A legitimate CRA employee will identify themself when they contact you, providing you with their name and phone number to call them back, if needed.
If you’re suspicious, you can make sure the caller is a CRA employee before providing any information over the phone.
- Tell the caller you would like to first verify their identity.
- Request and make a note of their:
- phone number
- office location
- End the call. Then check that the information provided during the call was legitimate by contacting the CRA. Please do this before you give any information to the caller.
In the provinces:
In the territories:
Once you complete these three steps, you can call the CRA employee back to discuss the reason for their call.
Note that our individual tax, benefits, and business enquiries lines offer an automated callback service. When wait times reach a certain threshold, you have the option for a callback, rather than waiting on hold. If you opt for a callback, we will give you a randomized four-digit confirmation number. This number will be repeated back to you by the call centre agent at the time of the callback. This is to provide you with assurance that the call comes from a legitimate CRA employee.
When to be suspicious
Red flags that suggest a caller is a scammer include, but are not limited to, the following:
- The caller does not give you proof of working for the CRA. For example, their name and office location.
- The caller pressures you to act now, uses aggressive language, or issues threats of arrest or sending law enforcement.
- The caller asks you to pay with prepaid credit cards, gift cards, cryptocurrency, or some other unusual form of payment.
- The caller asks for information you would not enter on your return or that is not related to money you owe the CRA, for example, a credit card number.
- The caller recommends that you apply for benefits. Do not provide information to callers offering to apply for benefits on your behalf! You can apply for benefits directly on Government of Canada websites or by phone.
For more information on reasons CRA may contact you and how to report a potential scam, please follow the link below: