Kitchener-Waterloo

Interac e-transfer tax refund scam circulating among students

Waterloo regional police are warning about a CRA scam circulating through the email system at University of Waterloo. It says students have a refund from overpaid taxes in 2019.
Waterloo Regional Police say students are receiving an email similar to this, all saying the targets are owed $550.44, which will be paid by e-transfer (Waterloo Regional Police Service)

Waterloo regional police are warning about a CRA scam that appears to be targeting students through the email system at University of Waterloo.

The emails are virtually all alike, said Const. Andre Johnson. 

The emails say the student has a refund of exactly $550.44 for overpaid taxes in 2019, and to claim that money, they need to fill out a form to have it delivered by Interac e-transfer. 

"It seems like the scammers are using pretty much the same email to target multiple people. So it's just ... taking an extra second to look at the sender account, looking at the directions and again — no Canadian agency or institution would ask for personal details online like that," Johnson said.

This week, police have received eight reports in two days from students who had received the emails, with another 15 reports received earlier.

"We would just like to remind people that the Canada Revenue Agency will not provide tax refunds through e-transfer, and just to verify information any time you get requests like this, or someone is giving away money," Johnson said.

"If it seems too good to be true, it probably is."

Anyone who receives the emails are asked to report it to police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

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