Suspicions sourronding CRA e-mails - what to look for.
Clients often ask us to confirm their suspicions that an e-mail that appears to be sent by the CRA is bogus. These fake requests, commonly known as "phishing", are almost always sent by e-mail and ask the recipient to transmit personal information, including banking information, via e-mail or by visiting a specific Internet address. However, it's important to remember that the CRA's policy is that it will not request personal information of any kind from a taxpayer by e-mail.
If we get this type of inquiry from clients, we should advise them that the request is indeed a scam, and refer them to the CRA's guidelines on e-mail scams, "Beware of fraudulent communications" (including examples), available on the CRA site.
In "Beware of fraudulent communications", the CRA advises that if a client receives an e-mail that appears to be from the CRA but requests social insurance, credit card, bank account, site passwords and passport numbers, it is a fraudulent communication. The CRA advises recipients to ask themselves:
The IRS also has an advisory, "Scam Phone Calls Continue: IRS Identifies Five Easy Ways to Spot Suspicious Calls", which warns taxpayers about telephone scam artists calling and pretending to be with the IRS. The IRS says that these callers may demand money or may say that the taxpayer has a refund due and try to trick them into sharing private information. The advisory also suggests five ways to avoid this type of fraud.
As these scams are increasingly sophisticated, the best defense is a healthy skepticism about whether any unsolicited e-mail is genuine. The CRA has said it aggressively works with Public Safety Canada to decommission scam sites once they are discovered.
For more information, contact your KPMG adviser.
Information is current to April 07, 2015.
The information contained in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act upon such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation.
For more information, contact KPMG's National Tax Centre at 416.777.8500