Skip To Content

How to spot the signs of a tax scam

Got a call or email from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)? Make sure it's real!

HERE'S THE SCENARIO: You get a text message or an email from the CRA claiming you're entitled to an extra refund and all you need to do is provide your banking details. Watch out—this wonderful‑if‑true situation is exactly what a tax scam looks like.

Another variation is that they call you to say that you owe the CRA money and that you need to pay right away, or else they will report you to the police.

In any case, if you do receive a call, letter, email or text saying you owe money to the CRA, you can visit the CRA website and login to "My Account" or call 1.800.959.8281.

Emails from the CRA never ask for, or provide, personal information. The CRA’s accepted payment methods are online banking, debit card, and pre-authorized debit.

  • Use aggressive or threatening language

  • Threaten you with arrest, or that they will send police

  • Ask for payments via prepaid credit cards or gift cards

  • Collect or distribute payments through INTERAC e-Transfer®

  • Use text messages to communicate under any circumstances If you suspect a scam, always report it.

Discover other common scams at our fraud prevention centre:


Source: The little black book of scams, 2nd edition. Competition Bureau Canada, 2018.

®INTERAC e-Transfer is a registered trademark of Interac Corp. Used under licence.

Related articles

Women talking on the phone near her computer

10 things you can do to protect yourself from fraud in 2024

Read More
Family travelling

Tips for planning and protecting yourself while travelling

Read More
Fraud files: Spot the red flags

Fraud Files: Amazon bait and switch

Read More

Cookie Consent

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.