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‘Don’t be a sucker like me’: Burnaby CRA scam victim speaks out

CRA offers tips on how to not get taken
Glacier Media file photo

A Burnaby woman who fell for a scam in which someone poses as a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) staffer says it could easily happen to you – or someone you love.

Nell is a Burnaby senior who spoke to me about falling for this scam two years ago.

“I keep seeing warnings about this and so I decided to speak up as a real-life victim so people will understand how it can happen,” Nell said. “My hearing isn’t good and I don’t have anyone to call to check out these things. They sounded so convincing and I see myself as honest and I didn’t want to get into trouble. It can happen so easily. Just don’t be a sucker like me.”

Here's how someone can make sure they are talking to an employee from the CRA: 

  • Tell the caller you would like to first verify their identity
  • Request and make a note of their: 
    • Name
    • Phone number
    • Office location
  • End the call.
    • Check the information given during the call is legitimate by contacting the CRA yourself
    • This should be done before giving any information to the caller

"Once you complete those three steps, you may call back the CRA employee to discuss the reason for their call," the agency says. 

Here are examples of red flags that a scammer is trying to take advantage of someone: 

  • The caller does not give you proof of working for the CRA
    • ie.) Name and office location
  • The caller pressures you to act now or uses aggressive language
  • The caller asks you to pay with prepaid credit cards, gift cards, cryptocurrency or some other unusual form of payment
  • The caller asks for information you would not enter on your return or that is not related to money you owe the CRA
    • ie.) A credit card number
  • The caller recommends that you apply for benefits
    • You can apply for benefits directly on Government of Canada websites or by phone
    • Do not give information to callers offering to apply for benefits on your behalf

If you have been a victim of fraud or a scammer has tricked you into giving personal or financial information, you should report the situation by visiting or call 1-888-495-8501. 

You are encouraged to contact local police, your financial institution and credit reporting agencies if you might have been a victim or fraud or unknowingly provided personal or financial information.