These days, online scammers are finding more and more creative ways to try and get at your hard earned money or personal information.
Since this trend doesn’t appear to be slowing we felt it would be appropriate to pass on some timely advice for protecting yourself:
Never open an email that you feel looks suspicious.
Do not hit a link enclosed in an email to see what is there even if it is from a friend – especially if it is only a link. Always check with your friend – perhaps their email has been hacked
If you are in doubt about an email – just delete the email – if it is important someone will contact you and you can confirm if it is from a person you know
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER give out personal information to strangers.
The RCMP and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) are warning again about the “taxpayer scam” as Canadians continue to be victimized almost daily.
The scam works like this: Fraudsters impersonating CRA employees, via email, phone or both target their victims and demand either personal information or payment for phony fees or back taxes.
“To date in 2016, almost $2 million has been reported lost by 590 individuals,” says RCMP assistant commissioner Todd Shean, who leads the force’s Federal Policing Special Services, in a statement published in September 2016. “And if only 5% of victims report their losses, we can assume that the actual total amount lost to this scam is much, much higher.”
The agencies call on taxpayers to take steps to ensure their personal information remains confidential and to avoid being duped.
“The CRA will never request prepaid cards, ask for information about your passport, health card or driver’s license, or leave personal information on your answering machine,” adds Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue.
“Before taking any action, taxpayers should always verify their tax account by contacting the CRA at 1 800 959-8281. This information, including examples of real scam telephone calls and e-mails, can be easily found on the CRA website,” she says.
Always feel free to contact McCurdy Financial Planning Inc. if you need any assistance.