No matter the season, tax scams are a constant threat to your financial well-being. These types of scams have gotten more sophisticated over the years, but the idea is still the same. To trick you out of your hard-earned money. But if you stay calm and alert, you can easily identify a tax scam from a mile away. Here are some red flags to look out for if you’re approached by someone pretending to be a tax professional.
Fake CRA or IRS Representative
You might have gotten an email or a phone call telling you that your refund is ready. Or that you owe the government back taxes and need to pay immediately otherwise you’ll suffer legal trouble. In either case, they’ll both ask for your account information to process a payment. To be clear, a real government worker will never ask you for your banking or personal information. Do not, under any circumstance, give your data to a person claiming to work for the CRA or IRS.
Threatening Calls, Texts, or Emails
The government will never text you links or call the police on you if you don’t pay an outstanding balance. They will also never ask you to pay something using gift cards or bitcoins. If you get any message from anyone demanding payment due to a tax issue, that is a scam. Don’t let these fraudsters scare you, because that is what they are trying to do. These scammers will try every possible avenue to get money out of you, that’s why you need to stay vigilant.
Fraudulent Websites and Phone Numbers
When you see a call coming in and the caller ID says, “Canadian Revenue Agency”, don’t believe it. If you receive an email with the CRA or IRS logo, don’t click on any links or attachments. It might look very official, because scammers go to great lengths to make it convincing. Never click on email links claiming to be from the government. Instead, if you have questions, just search for the government agency you want and always check the URL for authenticity.
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