(NC) Last year, about 100 Canadians a day were victims of a scam! Many of these scams imitate the CRA’s programs and services to gain access to your personal and financial information. So, how can you avoid getting tricked?

Here are three tips to avoid being scammed by someone pretending to be from the agency:

1. Know how to recognize a scam

• Scammers may insist they need your personal or financial information, such as your SIN or credit card details, to send you a refund or collect a payment. Beware when you get any message, whether it’s by telephone, mail, text or email, that requests this information.
• Callers may use threatening or coercive language to scare you into paying a phoney debt. Know that the government will not demand immediate payment or threaten you with arrest.
• Fraudsters may urge you to visit a fake website where you’re asked to verify your identity by entering personal information. The CRA will not email you a link asking you to fill in an online form with personal or financial details.

2. Protect yourself from identify theft

• Monitor your tax accounts by registering for My Account or My Business Account. Once registered, sign up for email notifications, which will notify you of changes made to your accounts or if paper mail from the agency was returned.
• Use unique and complex passwords for your CRA and online banking accounts. You can set up a personal identification number (PIN) in My Account or with the help of one of the CRA call centre agents to help confirm your identity for future calls.

3. When in doubt, check your online account

• If you receive a call, letter, email or text saying you owe money or have received a refund, check your My Account or call the CRA at 1-800-959-8281.

If you think you may have been the victim of a scam or have been tricked into giving personal or financial information, contact your local police service.

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