spam email

Canadians were just warned to expect a big increase in spam calls over the next few months

Canadians have been bombarded with scam calls and emails more than ever before in recent months, and now the Canadian Aint-Fraud Centre (CAFC) is gearing up to deal with another kind of scheme as tax season looms. 

"With another #taxseason starting, be aware of tax scams by phone, text or email," reads a tweet from the Ministry of the Solicitor General posted earlier today. "@CanRevAgency will never threaten you with arrest, or request payment by Interac e-transfer, bitcoin or gift cards."

According to the CAFC, when tax season rolls around between March and April each year, scammers often pretend to be from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and contact Canadians over the phone, by email or by text message.

The caller or sender then poses as an agent from the CRA in an attempt to either gather personal information or intimidate the victim into providing financial payment. 

According to numbers provided to CTV News, 470 Canadians lost more than $1.4 million to these tax scams last year, and another 3,210 complaints of the same scam were reported to the CAFC in 2019. 

The CAFC says young people are particularly at risk when it comes to this kind of scam, especially when filing their taxes for the first time. 

"Hang up immediately if there's anything suspicious or unprofessional about the call – the CRA will never threaten you with immediate arrest, use abusive language or send police," the anti-fraud centre says. 

They also say never to click on any link in an email pretending to be from the CRA and that the CRA never sends out text messages. 

Canadian telecom companies have attempted to introduce call blocking technologies to combat the increase in spam calls in recent months, but it seems many fraudsters are still getting through. 

New kinds of scams have even reared their ugly heads within the last few weeks, including one that specifically targets the victim's social insurance number

But regardless of the kind of telephone or online scam, the CAFC's advice remains the same: never provide personal information and file a report with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. 

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