Fredericton / News / Police blog

How to protect yourself during tax season

March is Fraud Prevention Month in Canada. 

As the month comes to an end and the tax filing deadline approaches, Fredericton residents are encouraged to protect themselves from tax fraud.  

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre manages the central database for thousands of fraud complaints each year. It is jointly managed by the Ontario Provincial Police, the RCMP and the federal Competition Bureau. Investigators across the country rely on its vast stores of data to compare notes on mass-marketing fraud and online scams. In 2017 alone, the Centre recorded cases involving $99 million in loses due to fraud ranging from phishing attempts to extortion.  

“Fraud Prevention Month is a good opportunity for us to educate Canadians about the dangers of fraud and to provide them with adequate information on the subject,” says Sgt. Marie Damian, spokesperson for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Ottawa. “Canadians have lost record amounts of money to tax related scams in the past year. Although our collective efforts have contributed to the dismantling of several fraudulent call centers, we must remain vigilant. Fraudsters are constantly coming up with new tactics and scam variants to lure in their victims.”

According to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), there are many types of tax fraud ranging from telephone scams to websites that steal personal information. Many fraudsters will send communication claiming to be from the CRA requesting personal information like a social insurance number, credit card number, bank account number or passport number. This communication will often claim they are requesting information because of a tax refund or tax debt. 

“If you have any doubts about a tax related call, email or text message, do not provide any personal or financial information,” says Damian. “Before taking any other action, confirm your tax situation with the Canada Revenue Agency at 1-800-959-8281, or through one of the CRA's secure portals.”

For more information on how to avoid scams such as tax fraud, please visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website at www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca