TRENTON – Beverly McGuigan thought luck was on her side recently when she received word from Revenue Canada that she would have a larger than expected refund on her income tax.
The Trenton resident said she used the online service to file her tax claim and knew she was getting some money back, but then she received an email saying she was entitled to an additional $57.
However, after a little further investigation, she realized she was close to being a victim of fraud.
“It was just a scam,” she said. “It’s amazing because the form that I received looked exactly like the one I filed.”
McGuigan said she went to the website listed on the email, but she became suspicious when it asked for her personal information.
“I thought I had better double check,” she said. “It wanted my birthdate and social insurance number. It’s so easy because it looked so legitimate.”
When McGuigan contacted Revenue Canada to check up on her claim, she was told that the agency is having an issue with scam emails being sent out in its name.
“The person said they are having a lot of problems with this and criminals are getting better and better at copying things.”
According to the Canada Revenue Agency’s website, the CRA warns people there are two scams taking place that involve asking people for personal information such as the social insurance number, credit card, bank account and passport numbers.
The scam states this personal information is needed so that the taxpayer can receive a refund or benefit payment. Another common scam refers the person to go to a website resembling the CRA’s website where a person is asked to verify their identity by entering personal information.
The CRA says it will never request personal information of any kind from the taxpayer by email. It will also will never divulge taxpayer information to another person unless formal authorization is provided by the taxpayer and that it will not leave any personal information on an answering machine.
The CRA has listed examples of fraudulent letters, emails and online refund forms on its website at www.cra-arc.gc.ca
It also states that anyone who has received fraudulent information or has become a victim of fraud, contact the RCMP anti-fraud centre by email at email@example.com or call 1-888-495-8501.