If you’ve received an email from the Canada Revenue Agency lately, you might want to be careful.
A user on Reddit recently uploaded a screenshot of an email that appears to have been sent from the CRA.
The note features official, CRA letterhead and states that the agency has received your tax return, and that you are eligible for a refund. But before you can get that refund, you’re asked to fill out a related form that requires entering personal information. Here’s what the email looks like:
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At first glance, this almost looks legit. But there are a few glaring red flags. First and foremost, the CRA reports on its website that it will never send you an email with links. Nor will they ask you for personal information via email–so that’s two right off the bat.
But the crooks behind this little ploy definitely got sloppy, as many Redditors point out:
- The dollar sign ($) appears after the amount, rather than before
- The email is from an Apple.com address
- It doesn’t mention the recipient’s name (it’s just a generic, mass email)
- It’s only written in English
- The CRA does not ask people if they want to “confirm” their refunds
It’s important to remember that scams come in many different forms, and thieves are always working to catch you off guard. Fraudsters sometimes pose as CRA agents who threaten jail time if money isn’t paid immediately. If you’re ever in doubt, the safest method, that will work in any scenario, is to simply hang up the phone (or not reply to the email) and call the CRA yourself. Calling directly is the only way to know for sure that you’re really speaking to someone with the agency.
You can see the CRA’s tips on how to spot a scam right here.