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  • Winnipeg Tribune

Beware of Fake CRA Text Messages

The Winnipeg Police is asking the public to beware of text messages that are impersonating the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

These phishing scams are meant to trick people into sharing sensitive information, sending money to cybercriminals or downloading malware. `

Many versions of CRA scams exist, where people receive text messages from fake numbers pretending to be the CRA. They may offer you a tax refund (these are fake). The text message may indicate your account needs to be updated and provide a link to click on and update your info. The message may ask for your personal info, such as social insurance number (SIN), date of birth, name, and private online banking info, to receive the refund by e-transfer and to update your account.

The scammers then use this private information to access your financial accounts, withdraw your funds, or receive the money by the e-transfer you send them.

The CRA may contact you for various legitimate reasons by phone but NOT by text message.

They will NOT ask for payments by e-transfer, Bitcoin, gift cards or prepaid credit cards.

How to protect yourself from CRA phishing scams?

  • Be aware of the scams that are out there.

  • Call the CRA to confirm they previously contacted you if you received a phone message: Individuals 1-800-959-8281 Businesses 1-800-959-5525.

What to do if you have been victimized? How to report a CRA scam?

  • If you have been victimized and suffered financial loss, report to police.

  • If you report a scam but have not suffered any financial loss, there is no need to file a report with the Winnipeg Police Service. Contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 to report.


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