The grinch of tax season is back and Oceanside RCMP are warning residents to beware of fraudsters impersonating the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
At least five residents in Parksville Qualicum Beach have reportedly received suspicious e-mails from someone claiming to be with the CRA, according to Cpl. Jesse Foreman.
The e-mail promises a tax refund and asks for personal information to complete a transaction.
Foreman said nobody has lost money on the scam, however, one person did give up personal information before calling police to report the incident which he realized was suspicious after the fact.
“People just need to know the CRA will not get in touch with you via e-mail,” said Foreman.
A news release issued by RCMP confirmed the CRA will not: request personal information of any kind from a taxpayer by e-mail, divulge taxpayer information to another person unless formal authorization is provided by the taxpayer or leave any personal information on an answering machine.
When in doubt, police suggest asking yourself the following questions: am I expecting additional money from the CRA? Does this sound too good to be true? Is the requester asking for information I would not include with my tax return? Is the requester asking for information I know the CRA already has on file for me? How did the requester get my e-mail address? Am I confident I know who is asking for the information?
The CRA will continue to post notifications of fraudulent activity as they become aware of them and they encourage you to check the CRA website should you have concerns.
If you have responded to a fraudulent e-mail or phone call and have become a victim of fraud, please contact the RCMP’s Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-888-495-8501.