Warning about Fraudulent Calls from CRA

Here are some recent examples of CRA fraud attempts:

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Caller identifies themself as from CRA and that there has been crimes committed against the CRA and that your file has been submitted to the Federal Court and that there is a warrant out for your arrest.  The call display is area code 647 (Toronto).  Needless to say this is a somewhat distressing call to receive.  If you received this type of call the RCMP Fraud line is 1-888-495-8501.

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The culprits pose as employees of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) or Citizenship and Immigration Canada , threatening jail or deportation if fictitious fees or over-due taxes are not paid.

“The victim is then directed to pay the purported fees through e-transfer, money wire transfer or the purchase of pre-paid gift cards, which they are directed to mail to a specific address,” police said in a release.

CRA officials say they are aware of the scam.

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There is also a phone and email scam where a fraudster purports to be a Canada Revenue Agency representative and pressures the potential victim into paying a non-existent debt.

RCMP say they’ve received a number of complaints. Police say people are being called by someone claiming to be from the tax agency who uses threatening and coercive language.

People are also being emailed a link to a website that looks to be the CRA’s and asked to enter personal information.

Police say the revenue agency will never ask for information about your passport, health card or driver’s licence. It will also never leave personal information on an answering machine, or ask you to do the same.

If you want to confirm a call really is from the CRA, call them using a number listed on their website.

Police say you should also ask yourself the following:

  • Am I expecting additional money from the CRA?
  • Does this sound too good to be true?
  • Is the requester asking for information I would not include with my tax return?
  • Is the requester asking for information I know the CRA already has on file for me?
  • How did the requester get my email address or telephone number?
  • Am I confident I know who is asking for the information?
  • Is there a reason that the CRA may be calling? Do I have a tax balance outstanding?

For more information on these scams and what to do, go to the CRA site at the following link.

http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/ntcs/bwr-eng.html

You can also talk to your accountant who will be able to act on your behalf and ensure that the call is legitimate.

 

Why use a professional accountant?

Kelowna is a city that attracts new people on a regular basis. Known as being business friendly many people move here and immediately start a new business. Of course one of the first things you need as a small business owner is an accountant. Oh where to start!

Start with a professional, you can’t afford not to.

Unlike many other professionals, anyone can call themselves an accountant. The term accountant is not reserved or in any way restricted. This does not mean that a non-designated accountant is not competent, it only means that they do not have to adhere to the standards of professional accountants.

Professional accountants, CGA’s, CA’s and CMA’s study for many years and are required to pass rigorous examinations before they can use their designations. Additionally, professional accountants are required to keep their knowledge up to date, which is closely monitored by the respective associations. Public accountants must go one step further and attend additional training and are required to carry insurance.

If that wasn’t enough every three years, a mandatory practice review is conducted by the associations to ensure the quality of the work performed meets the high standards that you have come to expect.

Ethics play a very big role for professional accountants. What that means is that you should expect professionalism and strong ethics from your accountant or from other professionals you may deal with.

Most people aren’t aware this but regardless of who prepares your tax return, you are ultimately still responsible for its contents.  You want to make sure that it is done correctly.

For more information on professional accountants you can contact one of the three accounting associations in British Columbia —  Certified General Accountants (CGA), Chartered Accountants (CA) and Certified Management Accountants (CMA).  In 2013 all Professional Accountants in Canada have merged and are now Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA)

Get it done right and use a professional accountant!

I am Chartered Professional Accountant serving small businesses in Kelowna and Lake Country.  Please visit my website at: www.dufordcpa.ca for more information.