How to verify the CRA has contacted you
Scammers could contact you pretending to be from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). They’re trying to trick individuals into making payments, and the CRA are doing everything they can to put a stop to this.
Is the caller a CRA employee and not a scammer?
A legitimate CRA employee will identify themselves when they contact you. The employee will give you their name and a phone number. Make sure the caller is a CRA employee before you give any information over the phone. This will protect you from giving money or personal information to a scammer.
This is how you can make sure the caller is from the CRA:
- Tell the caller you would like to first verify their identity.
- Request and make a note of their:
- Name and CRA ID
- Phone Number
- End the call. Then check that the information provided during the call was legitimate by contacting the CRA. Please do this before you give any information to the caller.
Once you complete those steps, you can call back the CRA employee to discuss the reason for their call.
Note that CRA’s individual tax, benefits and business enquiries lines offer an automated call back service. When wait times reach a certain threshold, you will be given the option of a callback, rather than waiting on hold. If you opt for a callback, we will give you a randomized four-digit confirmation number. This number will be repeated back to you by the call center agent at the time of the callback. This is to provide you with assurance that the call is from a legitimate CRA employee.
When to be suspicious
Red flags that suggest a caller is a scammer include (but are not limited to):
- The caller does not give you proof of working for the CRA. For example, their name and CRA ID.
- The caller pressures you to act now or uses aggressive language.
- The caller asks you to pay with prepaid credit cards, gift cards, cryptocurrency or some other unusual form of payment.
- The caller asks for information you would not enter on your return or that is not related to money you owe the CRA, for example, a credit card number.
- The caller recommends that you apply for benefits. You can apply for benefits directly on Government of Canada websites or by phone. Do not give information to callers offering to apply for benefits on your behalf!
Want to report a potential scam?
You should report a scam if you suspect either of the following:
- you have been the victim of fraud
- a scammer has tricked you into giving personal or financial information
To report a scam, visit antifraudcentre.ca, follow the instructions on our Be Scam Smart page, or call 1-888-495-8501. If you think you may be the victim of fraud or you unknowingly provided personal or financial information, contact all of the following:
- local police service
- your financial institution
- credit reporting agencies
You should contact the CRA if you:
- think your CRA user ID or the password you use in personal dealings with the CRA has been compromised;
- want to disable online access to your information on the CRA’s sign-in services;
- want to re-activate online access to your information after it’s been disabled.