Windsor Residents Receive Fraudulent CRA Emails

28 April 2015

As tax season rolls around again, fraudsters across Canada are gearing up to bilk as much money from Canadian taxpayers as they can. The latest example comes from Windsor, Ontario, where police are warning that a fraudulent email claiming to be from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is making the rounds.

According to the Windsor Police Service’s Fraud Unit, “numerous” local people have reported receiving a convincing-looking email that appears to be from the CRA, encouraging them to click on an embedded link to “re-verify” their information in order to receive their tax refund. The email includes the official CRA letterhead, but leads to a fraudulent website that asks for the user’s social insurance, bank account and passport numbers. The subject line is “Recalculation of your tax refund” and begins, “You have a Tax refund of CAD 274.10 waiting from your previous revenue records.”

Despite the use of the CRA’s letterhead, there are several clear signs of fraud in the email’s contents. First, there are several grammatical errors and misspellings. The last paragraph begins, “Note: A refund can be delayed a variety reason, for example submitting invalid records of applying after deadline.”

Moreover, the CRA never communicates via email, contacting taxpayers only through physical mail. The CRA reminds taxpayers that it will never request personal information information online and will not divulge this information via email or on an answering machine unless permission is explicitly granted by the taxpayer. Essentially, any email claiming to be from the CRA that asks taxpayers to click on a link to enter information is sure to be fake.

To defend your credit against the risks of identity theft and fraud during tax season, consider subscribing to a credit monitoring service.