CAMPBELL RIVER, B.C. – Scams are becoming more frequent.
Recent scams look like they’re legitimate, claiming that they’re from the Canada Revenue Agency.
These scams can come in the form of emails or phone calls, and are usually asking for information or trying to get money out of taxpayers, according to CRA spokesperson Vick Virk.
“They try to get money out of taxpayers through different methods like Bitcoins, iTunes cards, or money grams,” Virk said.
Virk added that there are a number of signs people can look out for to prevent getting scammed.
“One of the important things to identify is the demeanor of the person that is calling. We don’t use aggressive language when we’re calling taxpayers, we don’t threaten you with arrest or sending the police or threaten deportation. We don’t demand immediate payment by Interac transfer or Bitcoin.”
He said that the CRA communicates with taxpayers via phone or letters. In some instances, taxpayers may also receive emails from the agency but they’re usually for alerts and contain no links.
“The best way to protect themselves is to be aware of how we will and will not contact them. The big thing right now is text messages. The CRA does not send text messages advising you of how much you’re going to be getting for a refund. Even for emails, it will never have the amount of refund or the amount that they owe.”
Virk said that if you receive a fraudulent message or call, to contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre through their site or by calling 1-888-495-8501.
“If (taxpayers) have provided information (to fraudsters), they should report it immediately to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. They should get in contact with their local police department as well.”