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Canada Revenue Agency Tax Refund Phishing Scam

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Emails, purportedly from the Canada Revenue Agency, claim that recipients can claim a tax refund by filling in an online form.

Beware Tax Refund Scam

Brief Analysis

The messages are not from the Canada Revenue Agency. They are phishing scams designed to steal personal and financial information.



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From: Canada Revenue Agency


Canada Revenue Agency, Tax refunds & Reclaiming overpaid tax Tax Refund Notification
Msg Ref: 682/CA61839
I have reviewed your income tax liability for the year shown above to see whether you have underpaid or overpaid tax for the year. Our calculation shows that you are eligible to recive a tax refund of $788.00 ready to claim now.

Due to the high volume of tax refund payments you must complete the online application, the telephone help line is very busy at the moment and maybe unable to assist you. We therefore urge applicants to complete the online form.

Please CLAIM NOW [link removed], make sure your complete the form correctly as any mistake will take more time to process and you tax refund will be processed withhin 6 - 9 working days as claimed.

Canada Revenue Agency.
All rights reserved.

Subject: Message sent to [email address removed]

Dear customer,

After the last annual calculation of your fiscal activity we have determined that you are eligible to receive a tax refund of $521.51

Please submit the tax refund form on Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website and allow us 3-5 business days to process the information.

A refund can be delayed for a variety of reasons.

For example submitting invalid records or applying after the deadline.

To access the form for your tax refund, please Click Here [Link removed]

Thank you,
Canada Revenue Agency Online Security Department.

Detailed Analysis

These emails, which claim to be from the Canada Revenue Agency, inform the recipient that he or she is eligible for a tax refund. The recipient is instructed to click a link, ostensibly to access an online form and begin the process of claiming the supposed tax refund.

However, the message is not from the Canada Revenue Agency and the supposed tax refund does not exist. In fact, the message is a scam designed to trick recipients into divulging their personal information to Internet criminals.

Recipients who fall for the ruse and click on the link included in the email will be taken to a bogus website designed to resemble a genuine Canada Revenue Agency web page. Once on the bogus page, the recipient will be asked to provide sensitive financial information such as credit card numbers and bank account details. The financial information submitted on the fake tax refund form can then be collected by scammers and used for fraud and identity theft. Other Canadian versions of the scam have targeted Canada's Department of Finance. And criminals have used the same bogus tax refund scheme to target other jurisdictions including, the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

In order to make their claims seem more believable, the scammers often include seemingly official tax department logos, copyright notices and secondary links that lead to the genuine tax department website. Internet users should be very cautious of any emails that purport to be from their nation's tax department that ask them to provide personal information by following a link or opening an attachment. No legitimate taxation body is likely to inform taxpayers about a possible refund and ask them to provide personal information via an unsolicited email.

The Canada Revenue Agency has warned Canadian taxpayers about such scams on its website.

Canadian Dollars


Last updated: May 12, 2015
First published: 30th July 2009
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

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