Are you getting calls from people claiming to represent the Canada Revenue Agency, demanding you pay thousands or risk being jailed? Maybe you’ve tried to seek help with your computer or phone but have accidentally connected to a tech support scammer demanding thousands of dollars. Or more recently, maybe a caller has told you that your SIN number is associated with fraudulent transactions. If so, you’re not alone.
So what can you do if you or someone you know has been a victim of these scams?
1. First things first. Hang up. Do not pay up. Do not give anyone personal information, or access to your devices.
2. Do your research. Contact the real CRA through their website or by phone and find out if there are any issues with your account. Order your credit report for free from TransUnion or Equifax and look for any suspicious information.
3. Remember, government authorities will never request payment through wire transfer, prepaid gift cards or Bitcoin deposits.
4. Review information put out by the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. They’ve put together valuable tips and examples of scams here.
5. File a report with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. It collects data on the complaints filed and the amount taken from Canadians each year. You can call them at 1-888-495-8501, or access their online reporting system here.