While fake calls claiming to be from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) are common, don’t hang up the next call as they may be actual employees and not the scammers you are used to.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, CRA has suspended many collections and compliance activities, according to a media statement from the government agency.
However, the agency will be resuming these activities in phases by potentially calling residents starting September.
Canadians who owe payments, need payment arrangements and options re-evaluated, and have tax obligations may be called.
CRA will also be calling people for clarification on documents related to their tax and benefit return.
“The CRA aims to be completely transparent and proactive in identifying activities that are resuming,” said CRA in a media statement, adding that a full list of CRA’s return to business activities are posted on their website.
The agency acknowledges there are many scammers pretending to be them and ask Canadians to be wary and question the callers.
“To protect yourself from scams, it’s important to know when and how the CRA might contact you,” said the agency in the statement.
“Legitimate CRA employees who contact Canadians will identify themselves as CRA agents and provide their name and a telephone number.”
Canadians who are unsure of calls from alleged CRA employees are told to take note of the caller’s name, phone number and office location.
Residents can then contact and verify the information with the appropriate CRA departments such as the following:
for the individual income tax enquiries line
for the business enquiries line
for individual debts
for GST/HST debts
for payroll debts
for corporation debts
if the call you received was about a government program such as employment insurance or Canada Student Loan debts
Residents who believe they have received a potential scam call or are a potential victim of fraud are asked to report it at antifraudcentre.ca or by calling 1-888-495-8501.