I was thinking that the CRA (and Revenu Quebec) needs to create a quick link on their main page, in both languages, which allow anyone to check if the CRA called them. The information obtained will be collected and retained for further analysis, perhaps transferred to a central investigative organization outside of the tax department.
Here is the information that would be needed to check the call:
Telephone number associated with the call (This could be a call back phone number, the callerID or the call to phone number),
Check box to indicate that the number is a call back number (See later,)
The Account Number associated with the call (SIN or BN), maybe use only four of the digits in the account,
Timeframe of the call (Today, Yesterday, or last week.)
The tax department will only respond back if the call was from them or not. The tax department will record that the check occurred in the taxpayer’s account, meaning that the officer calling will know that someone checked the number. If the call was not from the tax department, the call back number will be referred to an investigating office to determine what action should be taken. The account number will not be referred to the investigating office, but maybe first three characters of the postal code associated with the account or the area code and first three digits of the telephone number (routing number.)
Good idea but will be subject to massive abuse or simple idocy I’d suspect.
Let’s face it: if people get a call from “CRA” and the caller is unable to identify anything useful about themselves and/or demands payment in (say) iTunes cards…there’s probably no hope for the intended victim.
The biggest problem is that CRA refuses to identify themselves properly on calls. I have instituted a “first, third and ninth number” policy on my CRA calls - if they leave a message they are instructed that the call will be ignored as a scam if they refuse to provide those digits of the SIN or BN. If they call me and I answer, I demand the same thing. Most of the time they refuse, and I tell them to take a hike. Sad for legitimate calls, but they can send mail otherwise.
Really, ALL CRA has to do is provide a code on the NoA that THEY can use to ID themselves. Pretty easy really. Provide the code, tell the user to check it, call back this phone #. Done.
But they are FAR too stupid and inefficient to even think about that, sadly, and I say that with all due respect.
(And I understand that some people won’t have their NoAs…so defeat can still be the order of the day.)
but sadly the people that fall victim to this scam rarely think this through enough to contact cra before acting on these requests… Bitcoin, iTunes or other personal info
Many people in Canada are still so worried about what other may think that they don’t share these stories before acting. They are embarrassed that they “could” owe monies… because they are “not like that” and so they pay and/ or give in to demands from scammers
I hang up on these types of calls often… it is usually quite obvious they are not cra within first 20 seconds by the language they chose to use in conversation …truly don’t have time in my day to listen to and record the info to report it.
Unfortunate that people can’t treat each other with respect in this world.
Would be nice, but i do agree that it probably would not be used correctly.
CRA does need a better way to verity the account they are calling on. CRA calls and expect us to give the SIN DOB etc., all the info for identity fraud. When they call it should be the same as if i called, the caller provides the verification and the recipient asked the questions.
I like the idea of a code on the NOA suggested by donhobs.
That is exactly how I handle it. I am not giving any information up until they can verify their identity the same way they ask me to verify mine. If they don’t do it, they have to resort to mail. Maybe if enough of us do the same thing they will come up with a better solution like one of those offered here.
The privacy protocol we follow is that CRA (and Service Canada) is requested to send a fax before we will give them any information. However this does not apply to any known contact at CRA on issues that we are already dealing with.
This protocol was reviewed with the Director of the Winnipeg Tax Centre, who thought it was a reasonable protocol.