Tax season, scam season: Don’t get fooled before deadline

With the filing deadline only a day away, many across the country are hard at work getting their taxes prepared — a perfect opportunity for scammers.

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) says tax scams are as prevalent as ever at this time of year, and they’re getting more complex and sophisticated.

“We’re still seeing the usual calls texts and emails demanding payment, but the scammers have really evolved,” Sababa Hossain with the CRA told 680 CJOB’s The Start.

“Now, with the text messages, we’re actually seeing people receive links to pay a bill, and it actually has their real name and social insurance number on the text.”

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Hossain said the scammers tend to cast a wide net, sending out fake messages randomly, hoping someone bites.

The bottom line, though, is that an official communication from the federal tax agency is not going to demand money via text message.

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“If (the message) is unexpected or urgent, then be suspicious. If you receive a message with an exact dollar amount or with your personal information, CRA would never send you that information over text or email,” she said.

“Also, if you’re being threatened and forced to make a payment immediately, being told you’re going to jail or anything like that … then that’s not the real CRA.”

If you aren’t sure, Hossain said, you should contact the CRA directly rather than responding to the message.

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