It seems that every day there are warnings about the latest (and greatest?) telephone and email scams.

The good news, is that with a little awareness and a dose of skepticism, you can protect yourself and keep your money in your own pocket.

Here are some of the latest tricks that are being used.

  1.  Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Scam: With tax season in full swing, it’s the perfect time for the CRA scammers to try to scare you into paying overdue taxes to unscrupulous, untraceable bank accounts. Please remember:

a.  The CRA will never send you emails demanding payment.

b.  The CRA will never accept gift cards, pre-paid credit cards or wire transfers to random bank accounts to cover overdue taxes.

If you owe taxes to the CRA, they will write you a letter asking you to call them to discuss your case.  As long as you cooperate, they will work with you to solve your issues

2.  Microsoft is too busy to call you about your computer. This scam usually comes by phone.  The caller claims to be from Microsoft, that they have noticed a security concern with your computer and that you just need to pay a fee and give them access to your computer so they can “fix” the problem.  The problem is, however, these people are not from Microsoft and once you give them money and access to your computer, your problems have just begun.  They will install a virus on your computer and steal your information.

3.  Can you hear me now? In this case, as soon as you answer the phone, the caller says “can you hear me now?”.  It sounds like you have already talked with them but there was some sort of problem and you supposedly couldn’t hear them.  When you hear this question, the automatic reaction is to say “yes”.  Unfortunately, that’s the problem.  While as yet unproven, this scam is suspected to be used to record your voice saying “yes” so that it can later be used to pretend that you gave verbal approval for some sort of online purchase or contract agreement.  If you ever answer the phone and only hear “can you hear me now?”, immediately hang up the phone.

In all these cases, and many more, the best response is no response.  Delete the email or hang up the phone.  Never give strangers access to your personal information or computer.

If you are ever unsure if an email is legitimate, please call us at 416-844-3597 for assistance.

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