MP reminds residents to be vigilant this tax season

By Roderick Benns

MP reminds residents to be vigilant this tax season
MP says don't fall victim to tax fraud.

Local MP Jamie Schmale is reminding constituents to be aware of possible tax fraud schemes this tax season.

“Recently, my office has received numerous calls from individuals who were scammed out of their private information,” says Schmale.

“I want to ensure that constituents are informed about tax fraud scams, protect themselves from identity theft and stay vigilant when it comes to releasing their personal information.”

Residents should be aware of telephone calls, mail, or email that claim to be from the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) but are not. These scams could result in identity thefts. Email scams may also contain embedded malware, or malicious software, that can harm your computer and put your personal information at risk.

The CRA does not do the following:

  • The CRA never requests, by email, personal information of any kind from a taxpayer.
  • The CRA will never request information from a taxpayer pertaining to a passport, health card, or driver’s license.
  • The CRA will not divulge taxpayer information to another person unless formal authorization is provided by the taxpayer.
  • The CRA will not leave any personal information on an answering machine.

When in doubt, ask yourself the following:

  • Am I expecting additional money from the CRA?
  • Does this sound too good to be true?
  • Is the requester asking for information I would not include with my tax return?
  • Is the requester asking for information I know the CRA already has on file for me?
  • How did the requester get my email address?
  • Am I confident I know who is asking for the information?

“If someone suspects they may be the victim of fraud or have been tricked into giving personal or financial information, we strongly encourage them to contact their local police service, financial crimes fall within police jurisdiction,” says Schmale.

If the CRA confirms that a taxpayer’s information has been compromised, the CRA will prevent the information from being used fraudulently through the systems and processes it is responsible for.

Constituents can report scams to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, which is run by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in association with Ontario Provincial Police and the Competition Bureau by calling 1-888-495-8501.

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