Are the aggressive collection calls you have been getting from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) real? The short answer is NO. The calls are a scam. Please read on.
Several of our clients have received calls from “the CRA”. The messages are aggressive and threaten legal action. This is a scam. The CRA does not make these kinds of calls.
You can do a quick Google search and find this scam on several websites. Try:
The caller is a fraud artist. Their key objective is to gather personal information from you and then use it for further fraud. There will also be efforts to have you “pay your debt”, generally in gift cards, wire transfers or money orders.
The unfortunate truth is that these scams pop every year at this time and catch even the most cautious and street smart people. Here are some examples of the phone scammers’ tactics:
- Asking for personal information
- Demanding immediate payment without first mailing you a notice or bill
- Requiring a specific payment method
- Asking for credit or debit card numbers
- Threatening to call law enforcement.
The scammers frequently gather your personal information before the call to try to convince you that they are knowledgeable about your situation and that they are official. Their goal is simply to scare you into providing them with your information before you have time to think about it.
A good general practice when you have a suspicious call from the CRA is to ask for their phone number and name and offer to call back. You can then do a quick Google search and see if that name and phone number, like the one above, are a scam. If it is actually the CRA, the personnel will be able to offer you other ways to verify that they are who they say they are. Examples are old fashioned letters or messages to your “My Account” area on the CRA website if you are already registered. Do not give the caller more information about yourself to help them verify who you are. You can make them verify who they are.
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