One of our friends just got this email pretending to be from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Can you tell it’s a fake?
This is an example of “phishing”. Phishing is a way hackers “fish for” (or try to get) your usernames, passwords or credit card details. Hackers are people who make money by stealing your personal information on the internet. They do this by pretending to be a service, company or person you trust like your bank or FedEx or Facebook, or in this case: The Canada Revenue Agency (or CRA).
You can tell that it is fake by looking for these things:
- Double-check the greeting: The email starts with: “Dear Taxpayer”. If the CRA was trying to contact you they would use your real first and/or last name.
- Check the CRA’s rules: The CRA says that they will not request personal information or send you a refund payment of any kind by email. This is how we know for sure that this email is fake.
Protect yourself! Ask yourself the following when you get an email from the CRA:
- Am I expecting additional money from the CRA?
- Does this sound too good to be true?
- Are they asking for information I would not include with my tax return?
- Are they asking for information that I know the CRA already has on file for me?
- How did they get my email address?
- Am I confident I know who is asking for the information?
For more info on how to know if you’re receiving a real or fake email from the CRA, visit their website to learn more.
For more tips and info on how to avoid Phishing. Read our other blog post on phishing.
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