BBB warns consumers of Canada Revenue Agency phishing tax scam

March 06, 2014

March 6, 2014 - CALGARY, ALBERTA - After receiving a number of reports of from area residents, BBB is warning consumers to double check any correspondence coming from Revenue Canada by email as it is likely a phishing scam.

How the scam works:

The target receives an email that is supposedly from Canada Revenue Agency saying they are now able to claim their tax refund. Some emails will specify the monetary amount of the tax refund. The target is prompted to click on a link to fill out a form and submit personal information in order to claim the funds. Once the fraudsters receive the information, the target is left vulnerable to identity theft, credit card fraud or other nasty outcomes.

President and CEO of BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay, Sandra Crozier-McKee, says technology is making it easier for scammers to con victims out of their hard-earned money. "Fraudsters are hiding behind realistic looking logos and credible business names that are trusted by consumers," she says. "They are picking up on our message to consumers to only deal with businesses they know and trust. It is crucial for consumers to trust their gut and check with BBB before making a financial decision."

BBB provides consumers with these common red flags of email phishing scams:

  • Don't believe what you see. As in the example above, scammers can easily copy a real business' colours, logo and even email address.
  • Hover over links to check their source. Place your mouse over hyper-linked text and the true destination will appear.
  • Be wary of unsolicited emails that contain links or attachments. As always, do not click on links or open the files in emails unless you know sender and are expecting it.
  • Beware of pop-ups. Some pop-ups are designed to look like they've originated from your computer. If you see a pop-up that warns of a problem that needs to be fixed with an extreme level of urgency, it may be a scam.
  • Watch for poor grammar and spelling. Scam emails often are riddled with typos and usually indicate that English is not the writer's primary language.
  • Ignore calls for immediate action. Scam emails try to get you to act before you think by creating a sense of urgency. Don't fall for it!
  • Update your antivirus. Regularly updating your security software will go a long way in protecting your computer should you happen to click on a malicious link.

For more information and other consumer tips, visit

Media Contact:

Leah Brownridge
Marketing Communications Coordinator
Phone: (403) 531-8793

About BBB:

For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2015, people turned to BBB more than 172 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 5.3 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at There are local,independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay, which was founded in 1954 and garners more than one million instances of service annually. 

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