CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) is the Canadian federal government service which oversees the collection of tax and governs law and policy related to tax.
It is also responsible for the registration of charities in Canada and for providing tax credits and benefits.
CRA is headquartered in Ottawa and is one of the largest organisations based on several employees. It also enforces the tax laws in the country.
Every year a business or individual is required to file for an income tax return which decides if they owe taxes and their amount or if they will get a refund.
This has been made easy by using the online CRA service where you need to create a CRA account.
However, some people have reported that they receive their finance, tax or account-related details by text from CRA. But is it possible to receive a text from CRA?
This article will discuss if CRA text you and what to do about it.
Does CRA Text You?
No, CRA does not text you for any finance, tax or account-related details.
The CRA does not text or use instant messaging like Facebook or WhatsApp to send you texts about taxes, benefits or MyAccount.
The CRA offers multi-factor authentication for all of its Sign-in services.
If you have provided your telephone number to CRA, then they will send one-time passcode every time you sign in to your account. This is the only text message you will receive from CRA.
How Does CRA Communicate?
CRA communicate via phone call, mail and emails but sends a text for one-time passcode due to multi-factor authentication only when you use sign-in services.
You can verify the caller to be sure by contacting the CRA and making sure that the information was authentic and shared by the CRA agent on call.
If you receive any text message claiming to be from CRA then it is most likely a scam.
How To Recognize Text-Related Scams?
Scammers always find a new way to commit fraud and usually, people unwillingly fall prey to such scams.
CRA identifies four major scam-related categories which are scams by phone, email, mail and text messages/instant messaging.
When it is a text-related fraud, scammers will send you a text from a fake number claiming to be from CRA and offering you a refund.
The text message will also encourage you to click on the link provided in the text or tell you to send a reply.
Other common patterns that these text messages usually follow are mentioned below:
- Asks you to send personal information such as Social Insurance Number, Date of Birth or Full Name.
- Asks you to send Banking information to claim a refund amount via e-transfer.
- Informs you about the amount due for the tax return filed.
- Requesting you to purchase a gift card or e-transfer the money.
- Threats of arrest if you do not comply with the instructions.
- Messages of claiming benefits by clicking on the link.
What To Do After You Receive A Scam Text?
The most important thing to remember is to never share your personal or banking information in the text claiming to be from CRA.
When you receive such alert messages claiming to be from CRA always think if you have taken any action in your CRA MyAccount recently that may have prompted such a message.
Check your MyAccount first before doing anything that the text mentions. You may likely have received a text which is a scam.
If you receive any message about tax refund or asking you to share any personal information then you should immediately delete such text.
You can report to CRA in case you think your account is compromised.
Always remember that CRA never sends text messages or uses instant messaging for personal, tax or banking details.
What Can You Do If You Are A Victim Of Scam?
If you feel that you are scammed and tricked into sharing your personal or financial information then contact the local police service immediately.
Contact CRA if any of the following instances:
- Your CRA Account is compromised.
- You find changes in your personal or banking information when you did not ask for it.
- You see your benefits application made without your consent.
- You want your online access to information disabled from CRA Sign-in services.
- You want your online access to information enabled from CRA Sign-in services after disabling it.
In addition to reporting the fraud to CRA, you should also report it to Canadian Anti-Fraud Center.
Tips From CRA To Avoid Text-Related Scam
- The CRA encourages you to keep checking your MyAccount for any suspicious activity.
- Stay alert when you receive any unexpected text or contact claiming to be from CRA.
- CRA will never ask you to make immediate payment, threatens to send police or use an offensive tone.
- CRA never texts and if you receive any text message claiming to be from a CRA then it is a scam.
You can also stay up to date with scam alerts that are regularly made aware by CRA and be cautious to avoid them.
You can reach out to the CRA Support team by calling on 1-855-330-3305 for individual-related issues.