CRA scam: No, the CRA will never send your tax refund via e-Transfer

The CRA isn’t sending your tax refund via e-Transfer

How to spot a phishing scam from the so-called taxman

by

Tax season is upon us, which means Canadians are starting to receive their tax refunds—along with fraudulent phone calls, emails and texts either offering or demanding high sums.

In recent years, scammers have been impersonating official agents, issuing threats of court charges, jail time and even deportation for failure to pay a fake outstanding tax debt.

If you encounter this phone call, know that a real CRA agent will never issue threats or pressure you to deposit money or provide information. Plenty of Canadians have caught on and are warning their peers on social media:

There are many variations of email scams floating out there, too. A recent one you may have come across has obvious red flags.

CRA scam

Where to begin? Firstly, the phoney email comes from a suspicious address: CRA@paymentsplatform.info. Real CRA emails have this as part of the address: @cra-arc.gc.ca. Oh, and all of their email correspondences will include French translations.

The graphic that sits atop the fake email looks like it was hastily put together. Real CRA emails usually don’t have any graphics or images at all and never include external links. If you’ve signed up for email notifications from the government agency, it will do just that—notify you to log into your myCRA account for more information, but it will never direct you to a specific link.

One of the biggest tells in that fake email is the rampant grammar and spelling errors. Who doesn’t look forward to receiving their Tax “Refound”?

Sometimes, this CRA INTERAC E-Transfer scam looks more polished:

But just for reference, here’s what a real CRA email correspondence looks like:

(Names and dates redacted)

This email is not a CRA scam

To find out more about CRA scams and how to spot them, read this. Here’s how to report fraud to the CRA.