Income tax scams targeting Canadians – and Americans – have already started

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It’s time to start preparing your personal income tax return in Canada and the US. Just remember crooks prepare too.

Sophos researchers said on Tuesday that they have been seeing email messages to individuals pretending to be from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), claiming that person is entitled to a refund from the government. To collect, the individual is asked to create a CRA account. The message includes a link to a fake CRA website; The goal is to get personal information from the victims.

There are several versions of the scam. One says that the recipient can sign up for Interac e-transfer of funds.

Crooks hope that victims will be fooled by the lure of money and copies of government logos. However, there are many clue messages like these are scams. in this scam

– Neither the Canadian nor the US government will send a message that you are entitled to a refund;

— Some messages are in broken English. One, for example, asks recipients to make deposits rather than withdraw their money;

Smart people who hover their mouse over the link to sign in or create an account will notice that it does not go to the Government of Canada site. Often the link goes to a page created on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Smart people who have enabled their email to show the sender’s full email address will see that this clearly does not come from the government. A hacker can reveal the sender’s name to any well-known agency, company or individual. But the full email address will show the actual sender.

There have also been a significant number of tax scams for US residents. These include phone calls, letters, or email messages claiming you owe taxes. They will demand that you pay the amount immediately, usually with a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. They may even threaten to arrest you if you don’t pay.

Click here For information from the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on how to identify tax evaders.

Click here For advice from the Canada Revenue Agency. See also this page for details on CRA scams.

Be suspicious of any email, text, or phone call asking for personal information, including your date of birth, credit or debit card numbers, bank account numbers, or Social Insurance/Social Security numbers. Crooks will claim that they need these numbers from you in order to verify the information.

If you call a government agency yourself—without using the phone number in an email or text—it’s safe to use personal information for verification.

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