How to Protect Yourself Against Fake CRA Calls

Have you ever gotten a scam call from someone claiming to be from the CRA?

With the rapid increase of government aid being accessed by Canadians, there has been an unparalleled increase in CRA scams. Many people who have lost their jobs or have had their hours cut currently rely on their government funding to stay afloat during the pandemic. The state of uncertainty and panic is what some devious people have decided to exploit. 

This increased concern around finances probably means your guard for scams isn’t at its highest. You want to make sure you’ll have enough money for rent and groceries – you can’t worry about everything all at once. 

The CRA has some great resources on how to spot a fake call and what to do if you receive one. We wanted to do our part in spreading this helpful information by highlighting some of the most important takeaway points to keep you and your family safe.

The CRA will:

  • Contact you by mail, email, or phone

The CRA will not:

  • Contact you through text or other messaging apps
  • Make threats or speak to you in a violent way
  • Threaten you with arrest or a prison sentence
  • Demand immediate payment by Interact e-transfer, prepaid visa card, or other form of gift card.

Be aware that scammers can mask their caller ID and have been known to use “GOC-GDC” or “Canada Revenue Agency” which appears legitimate. Do not provide them with personal information if they ask you to validate your identity. Tell them you are not comfortable doing that and call the CRA’s publicly available phone number yourself. Do not call back any phone number they might give to you.

A CRA agent will always have a unique phone number and badge number. When you doubt the validity of the CRA contacting you, ask the agent for their full name, badge number and department and say you will call them back. After you hang up, call, or contact the CRA and explain what happened. This way, even if it was the CRA that contacted you initially, you can be sure because you have initiated the contact. 

For more information or to find official contact information for the CRA, click here.