Hughes reminds constituents to be wary of scammers in tax season

Ottawa –   Vigilance is the key to avoiding scammers all year round, but the problem ramps up during tax season, according to Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing MP, Carol Hughes.

Hughes wants to remind people to use caution when answering phone calls or e-mails from people claiming to represent the Canada Revenue Agency.

“In many instances the scammers use voicemails to try to make people believe they are about to be sued by the CRA, unless they quickly come up with money, but that’s not how the CRA operates,” said Hughes. “People need to know that the Canada Revenue Agency does not make threatening phone calls, request information by phone or by email, and will not accept credit cards as a method of payment.”

Hughes says the CRA scheme is one of the most common attempts to defraud Canadians, but warns there are others and the best bet is to report any suspicious activity to your local police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

“It’s always important to be cautious, especially online where more and more scams are taking place,” said Hughes. “That’s why it’s important to leave suspicious looking messages alone and stay away from any links they may include.”

Hughes notes that online shopping can also expose a person to fraudulent activity and care should be taken to ensure sites are reputable and safe before making a purchase. 

“Whether online, on the phone, or in person at your door, the first line of defence is always caution,” said Hughes. “ We can listen to the experts who tell us the best way to fight these types of crime is through awareness.”