Tax Identity Theft

TaxesThe Tip

Tax season is not only the busiest time of the year for accountants and financial institutions. It is also becoming one of the busiest times of the year for scammers and thieves.

The Detail

There are many fraud types. New ones arrive every day. These fraud attempts can arrive by telephone, mail, email, or text messages. We all need to be vigilant when receiving any sort of communication that claims to be from Revenue Canada. These scammers are getting increasingly sophisticated every year. They may try to get your personal information, they may try to intimidate you into paying money to them, they may direct you to very convincing but fake websites. We all need to be careful to never respond to these fraudulent communications.

The government of Canada and the Canada Revenue Agency provides a lot of information to help protect us from these scams and attempted fraud. They also provide real-life examples of the sorts of scams that have been seen in the wild. I won’t repeat the entire website here, but please visit the following site for timely and qualitative information on;

  • know how to recognize a scam (by phone, email, mail, messaging)
  • how to protect yourself from identity theft
  • what to do if you’ve been a victim
  • scam stories
  • a great list of external resources

In a nutshell, the CRA will never;

  • ask for personal information by email or text message;
  • request payment by prepaid credit card;
  • share your tax information with another person or organization, unless you have agreed that it can be shared;
  • leave personal information on an answering machine;
  • threaten or use nasty language.

If you have more questions about these topics, please contact UTS, and we’d be happy to offer what guidance we can. There is also a wealth of information to be found using your favourite search engine.