Peel Regional Police are warning that residents have had their hopes falsely raised with word of a tax refund pending, and fears falsely stirred with notice that they owe back taxes and must pay up immediately.
It’s an ongoing scam and Peel’s Fraud Bureau has heard from numerous victims, according to police.
The victims are instructed to provide personal information to either get their refund or pay the outstanding taxes they are told they owe. Sometimes, the victims are directed to a website that looks like the CRA site, but is not, and directed to confirm personal information.
The CRA does not request personal information of any kind from taxpayers via email or phone – they already have your personal information on file.
Police are offering the following tips to avoid this fraud:
• do not act immediately. Verify that what you are being told is the truth;
• ask yourself why the CRA would ask for personal information over the phone or via email that they likely already have on file for you as a taxpayer;
• contact the CRA to confirm that you do owe back taxes or are entitled to a refund, before providing any personal or banking information.
For more about frauds involving the CRA, visit the government site at www.cra-arc.gc.ca/ntcs/bwr-eng.html
For more on other scams making the rounds, visit the Canadian Anti-fraud Centre site at www.antifraudcentre.ca
Anyone who believes they have been a victim should contact the Fraud Bureau at 905-453-2121, ext. 3335.