The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is warning Canadians about instant messaging scams taking place through Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.
The CRA warned today, “We don’t use text or instant messaging such as Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp to reach out to you.”
According to the CRA, scammers pose as employees and “continue to contact Canadians, misleading them into paying false debt. These persistent scammers have created fear among people who now automatically assume that any communication from someone representing the CRA is not genuine.”
The CRA’s website says it will never use text messages or instant messaging apps to contact taxpayers, “under any circumstance,” as these are most likely scams. The CRA does contact Canadians through phone, email and mail for legitimate reasons.
The agency warns it will also never ask for information regarding your passport, health card, or driver’s license, nor “demand immediate payment by Interac e-transfer, bitcoin, prepaid credit cards or gift cards from retailers such as iTunes, Amazon, or others.”
Canadians in the past have fallen victim to the notorious iTunes gift card scam. Last month, a class-action lawsuit was filed in Canada against Apple, alleging the iPhone maker perpetuates iTunes gift cards scams.