May 28th, 2020
Feb 16th, 2016
By Steven Sitcoff
There have been widespread reports of people across the country getting phone calls or messages from persons purporting to be representatives of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). These callers are aggressive and try to coax personal and financial information from their targets. The targets are also threatened with arrest for purported back taxes unless they send a money transfer by way of Western Union or similar services. The callers often use a fake Ottawa-area phone number to help bolster the scam.
If you get such a phone call or message, do not give your name or any personal information to the caller. It is important to note that the CRA generally communicates by mail and does not seek to obtain personal information over the telephone.
The CRA’s website has a fraud-prevention section with sample recordings of such calls and other information on various scams to watch out for.
Steven Sitcoff is a tax lawyer at Spiegel Sohmer who works on a variety of corporate and personal tax planning matters, as well as handling disputes with tax authorities. He has extensive experience in making voluntary disclosures to the federal and provincial tax authorities regarding offshore accounts.