Oakville, Burlington, Milton, Halton Hills residents should be aware of new email scam

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Published May 13, 2022 at 11:01 am

The Canada Revenue Agency is warning local residents of an email scam involving tax refunds. PEXELS PHOTO

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is warning Oakville, Burlington, Milton and Halton Hills residents of an email scam involving tax refunds.

The fraudulent email appears in the inbox informing residents the CRA is sending them a GST/HST tax refund. Then it asks them to click on a link and complete an attached application form to receive their refund.


The email notifies the user the attached form must be submitted by April 30 to confirm the refund.

“We won’t ask you to click on a link and share your personal financial information by email or text,” says the CRA.

There are many types of scams and frauds, and new ones are invented daily. If you are unsure and want to confirm if the CRA contacted you, call the CRA:

In Ontario

Individuals: 1-800-959-8281

Businesses: 1-800-959-5525


What to expect when the CRA contacts you

To identify legitimate communications from the CRA, be aware of these guidelines and know what to expect when the CRA contacts you:

By Phone

When you call the CRA, you may

  • be asked to verify your identity by giving your full name, date of birth, address, type of account, or social insurance number
  • be asked for details about your file in My Account or My Business Account

The CRA may contact you to:

  • ask about a tax debt
  • start an audit process
  • offer free tax help for your small business
  • offer support in helping your clients access benefits and credits

The CRA will not:

  • demand immediate payment by Interac e-transfer, bitcoin, prepaid credit cards or gift cards from retailers such as iTunes, Amazon, or others
  • ask for a fee to speak with a contact centre agent
  • use aggressive language or threaten you with arrest or sending the police
  • leave voicemails that are threatening or give personal or financial information

By Email

The CRA may

  • notify you by email when a new message or a document, such as a notice of assessment or reassessment, is available for you to view in secure CRA portals such as My Account, My Business Account, or Represent a Client. To confirm if an email notification you received is legitimate, see email notifications you will receive
  • email you a link to a CRA web page, form, or publication that you ask for during a phone call or a meeting with a CRA agent (this is the only case where the CRA will send an email containing links)
  • email you a consent form to meet with someone from the CRA via videoconference. You will only receive the form after you’ve agreed to provide your email address
  • email you about child and family benefits and the CRA’s online services, such as My Account (you will only receive these emails if you’ve subscribed to a mailing list)

The CRA will not

  • give or ask for personal or financial information by email or ask you to click on a link
  • email you a link that demands you fill in an online form with personal or financial details
  • send you an email with a link to your refund
  • demand immediate payment by Interac e-transfer, bitcoin, prepaid credit cards or gift cards from retailers such as iTunes, Amazon, or others
  • threaten you with arrest or a prison sentence

By Mail

The CRA may

  • ask for financial information such as the name of your bank and its location
  • send you a notice of assessment or reassessment
  • ask you to pay an amount you owe using any of the CRA’s payment options
  • take legal action to recover the money you owe
  • write to you to initiate an audit process
  • write to you to offer free tax help for your small business

The CRA will not

  • set up a meeting with you in a public place to take a payment
  • demand immediate payment by Interac e-transfer, bitcoin, prepaid credit cards or gift cards from retailers such as iTunes, Amazon, or others
  • threaten you with arrest or a prison sentence

By Text Messages/Instant Messaging

The CRA has introduced multi-factor authentication for all of its sign-in services. If you enrolled with the telephone option, you will receive a text message with a one-time passcode each time you sign in to your CRA account.

CRA employees will not use text messages or instant messaging such as Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp to start a conversation with you about your taxes, benefits, or My Account under any circumstance.

When in doubt, ask yourself

  • Why is the caller pressuring me to act immediately? Am I certain the caller is a CRA employee?
  • Did I file my tax return on time? Have I received a notice of assessment or reassessment saying I owe tax?
  • Have I received written communication from the CRA by email or mail about the subject of the call?
  • Does the CRA have my most recent contact information, such as my email and postal address?
  • Is the caller asking for information I would not give in my tax return or that is not related to the money I owe the CRA?
  • Did I recently send a request to change my business number information?
  • Do I have an instalment payment due soon?
  • Have I received a statement of account about a government program I owe money to, such as the Employment Insurance Program or the Canada Student Loans Program?
  • If you know you have a debt with the CRA and can’t pay in full, take action right away.
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